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Gold Knight
April 24, 2007, 10:22 PM
Anybody here with more than a fleeting interest in Ancient Civilizations?

I'm talking about like Ancient Mesopotamia, Persia, Egypt, China, India, Tibet, Japan, Greece, Rome, Celts, Vikings, Aztecs, Maya, Incas.

Pretty much any civilization before the world started growing considerably smaller with increased trading voyages across the seas.

Really, if you think about it, it's astonishing that as long as humans have lived here on this world (four million years, if you count the earliest hominids, 250,000 years if you only go as far back as homo sapiens), "civilizations" have only existed for roughly 6,000 years.

That's like... an incredibly short time in our history! And already we've come this far, at this rate, who knows what this big ball of blue of ours will be like in another 3,000 years from now?

But no way to really know what the future will be like, so let's just dig up the past instead for now and talk about it =) But what part of the ancient world are YOU guys interested in the most?

Also, another quick question for you smart people: do you happen to know what the four earliest civilizations in the world are generally agreed to be? A cookie for the first one who gets it right. ;)

-----------------------------------------------------------Important - What Are Civilizations?

It's important to remember what exactly civilizations are as opposed to say a village of neanderthals. There are six basic details that usually are enough to define a civilization, and they are:

1. Cities: They become the focus points for political, economic, social, cultural, and religious development.
2. Religions: Gods are deemed crucial to the community's success, and professional priestly classes serve as intermediates between the people and the gods.
3. Politics and Armies: A government bureaucracy meet the demands of a growing population and a military is created to gain land and power.
4. Social Structures: We have more social structures based on economic power - kings, upper class of priests, political leaders, warriors, farmers, artisans, craftspeople, and slaves.
5. Writing: With the development of writing, records are more easily kept on a daily basis.
6. Significant Artistic & Intellectual Activity: usually monumental and religious architecture.

----------------------------------------------------------- Points of Interest for Discussion:

1. Rises and Falls of these Civilizations
2. Cultures of these Civilizations (How they lived, etc.)
3. Mythologies...! C'mon, who doesn't love a little interesting mythology ;)
EDIT: We now have a Mythologies Thread. (http://www.mangahelpers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12048) Go forth and chat :D

And as an art historian I'm pretty interested in artistic accomplishments too. =)

Gold Knight
April 24, 2007, 10:35 PM
Despite how I started my first post, people with a fleeting interest are welcome too in this thread. Heh.

ornis
April 24, 2007, 10:52 PM
Oops! I deleted my post because of that ><

I'm really intrigued by the Delphi of Greece

The Pyramids of Egypt

The Shrines of Japan

and the Taj Mahal

Everything else (about those civilizations) "comes around" when I ponder those icons.

Ooh I like the languages too---Egyptian-wise i like the hieroglyphics--- but the languages for the rest of them.

Certain words... just play over in my head for days >.>
-
Oh yeah Democracy, Feudalism---all the sociological aspects... gosh I wish I could include Gandhi's Satyagraha...

Weelll I am very obsessed with the many cultural phenomena that direct various races toward civil natures... natures that are so separate from each other.

Culture is what I tend to the most, as you can see ^^

I like to compare sociological dynamics with biological lifestyles. The very way cancer works is akin to gluttony... and so forth

I'm completely nuts!

Gold Knight
April 24, 2007, 10:56 PM
Can you elaborate on Japanese shrines?

As for the other three -

Delphi of Greece - Definitely my biggest interest here, but probably because I LOVE Greek and Homeric mythology so much. Plus any place considered to be "the center of the world" in a civilization has a lot of significance obviously.

Pyramids of Egypt - my biggest interest is just actually SEEING them in person... dammit, I gotta get some money so I can travel! I probably am not so enthusiastic about them because I've pretty much burnt myself out on Egyptian history. (The more you know, the less you think about it, sometimes.)

Taj Mahal - Definitely a great monument but... hmm, I didn't think of it as ancient stuff. It's more recent.

EDIT: Well understanding these dynamics is pretty essential to understanding why and how people worked together and formed civilizations in the first place, so that's a pretty good reason for you to be here in this thread xD

ornis
April 24, 2007, 11:18 PM
Shrines protect precious connections to the past.

Japanese really don't forget anything to me, and that tells a world about their character--- pride, confidence, and nobility...

All those qualities are symbolically guarded through the "artwork" of shrines... in a physical homage to honor.

There is a shrine in Japan, the Sasuke Inari Jinja Shrine.

Here's a link (http://www.kcn-net.org/e_kama_history/ogigayatsu/ogigayatsu_2.htm) (just search "sasuke")

It's name translates to "Sukedono was helped by a god"

Sukedono was involved with the great Yoshitsune... I'm kinda rusty here >.>

The link explains how a god helps a man "defeat his fate..."

Do Kesubei
April 24, 2007, 11:24 PM
Ornis, you might want to look into Shinto (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shinto). Interesting stuff, that religion. I'm like reading up on it.

I used to despise history (rote memorization isn't very fun), but as I get older I'm becoming more and more interested. My primary interest lies in the Ryukyu Kingdom (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Ryukyu_Kingdom) - modern-day Okinawa. From what I read, before they were invaded by Japan, the Ryukyu Kingdom was something of it's own nation, with it's own culture and it's own religion. It had stronger ties with China than it did with Japan as well.

The religion is of particular interest to me because, unlike other, more prominent religions, women were the ones who were in charge. From what I understand, men would handle political and economical matters while the priestess handled the community and spiritual matters.

In addition, I want to start reading into African civilization as I've unfortunately ignored my own heritage in my earlier years.



do you happen to know what the four earliest civilizations in the world are generally agreed to be? A cookie for the first one who gets it right.

Hmm. The Africans, The Chinese, The Mayans, and the...Phoenicians??


Afterthought: Ryukyu is not an 'ancient civilization'. Oops.



Font restored to default.

ornis
April 25, 2007, 12:01 AM
Also, another quick question for you smart people: do you happen to know what the four earliest civilizations in the world are generally agreed to be? A cookie for the first one who gets it right. ;)


I'm thinking Egyptian; Indian; Chinese; Greek




-Points of Interest for Discussion:

1. Rises and Falls of these Civilizations
2. Cultures of these Civilizations (How they lived, etc.)
3. Mythologies...! C'mon, who doesn't love a little interesting mythology ;)

And as an art historian I'm pretty interested in artistic accomplishments too. =)

Let's talk Sisyphus.

It's pervading my thoughts on Naruto---and on the work's "Akira injections," here and there.

Does "the rock" endlesly tumble for all Sisyphus-like characters... or has the burden ever passed along? Sort of... from one era's brave ambition, to the next...

An itch though: Would it be ideal to spoiler-tag Akira info?

Tetsuo == Sasuke

pseudorca
April 25, 2007, 01:31 AM
Also, another quick question for you smart people: do you happen to know what the four earliest civilizations in the world are generally agreed to be? A cookie for the first one who gets it right. ;)



hmmm, my guess would be
- mesopotamian (around tigris river)
- indus river civilizations (dravidan?? can't remember)
- ancient egyptians (around nile river)
- ancient chinese (around yangtze river)

so, do i get the cookies? ~.~

TechnoMagus
April 25, 2007, 02:06 AM
ohhh nice thread :thumbs

does atlantis count? lemuria too? :fan

i'm also mystified by these civilizations....
progenitors of linear b, easter island, nazca plains, anazzazzi (?)

Paper
April 25, 2007, 06:26 AM
i have a penchant for nordic and egyptian mythology....

miyi
April 25, 2007, 06:52 AM
Also, another quick question for you smart people: do you happen to know what the four earliest civilizations in the world are generally agreed to be? A cookie for the first one who gets it right.

from the top of my head:

Ancient Egypt, Ancient Mesopotamia, Ancient IndoEuropea or EuroAsia (ok this one, I'm just guessing), and China?

on topic:

I've only briefly studied Western Civilization, although someday I plan on also studying Eastern Civilization. So, I'm interested (and familiar with) in Mesopotamia, Egypt, Greece, Rome, and the Persian Civilization.

One thing to add:

There's almost nothing left to explore by land. In a few thousand years, I think that space exploration and occupation will be possible, and achieveable. We'll be colonizing other planets, and we'll be spreading our human history and culture beyond Earth.

Runemage
April 25, 2007, 07:49 AM
earliest aye? city of Ur in southern Mesopotamia, located in now modern Iraq, located between the the two rivers Euphrates and Tigris, became a hot spot for farmers/villagers to concentrate settlement, believed to have the first form of trade (barter)

that's pretty much all i remember from my social studies :amuse

Paper
April 25, 2007, 08:06 AM
on the east? form what i remember the Malays were one of the first.

Gold Knight
April 25, 2007, 09:53 AM
hmmm, my guess would be
- mesopotamian (around tigris river)
- indus river civilizations (dravidan?? can't remember)
- ancient egyptians (around nile river)
- ancient chinese (around yangtze river)

so, do i get the cookies? ~.~

Good job, you got it =) The Sumer culture of Mesopotamia came around 3500 BC in present-day Iraq, the other three emerged a little later. Good call to mention the rivers, too... exactly the reason they all popped up.

Sumeria/Mesopotamia - Tigris & Euphrates Rivers
Egypt - none other than the Nile, as you said
India - the Indus
China - Yellow River, yeah.

And now I can say that my biggest interest is Mesopotamia at the moment. Too bad we know the least about it xD


ornis, I was just wondering if there was a particular group of shrines that appealed to you more than others. Nice site, I do agree with you, they're definitely interesting. But as Do Kesubei mentioned, definitely study up on Shinto.

Techno - sure... :D And yeah, the Easter Islands make me wonder, too...!

miyi, not quite NOTHING to explore by land yet - there's still probably hundreds of ancient ruins buried under the sands of Iraq right now. We still know so little about ancient Mesopotamia. It's pretty frustrating because Iraq is probably the most hostile place on the planet right now, and we may never get to do some research over there for years.

ornis - that would make a pretty good essay - if you put it that way, ALL manga protagaonists could be said to be Sisyphus-like... xD It's like when Spider-Man never runs out of enemies or threats to his family.

I'm thinking maybe I should make separate threads for mythology though. It's a loaded subject all its own. I'm going to do that.

Runemage - yup =) Though the earliest city we know of is Jericho in Palestine, which we can date back to 8000 BC... but Ur is generally agreed to be the earliest place that meets all the requirements of a civilization.
-
Okay, created a Mythologies Thread. (http://www.mangahelpers.com/forums/showthread.php?t=12048) =)

PaperYomiko
April 25, 2007, 10:05 AM
I was always obsessed with Ancient Greek mythology, and, by association, Ancient Greece. There was a time when I could tell you everything about any god or goddess, but I've been neglecting it for a while. I actually read the Iliad on my own one summer. My friends thought I was insane. But it's really fascinating literature, and one of the best insights we have into Ancient Greek culture. I think it's interesting how, especially with Homer, legend becomes inseparable with history. Ancient Greek philosophy, too, is something I've always loved, and I think it continues to be an essential influence on our modern society.

In terms of other civilizations, I think I've been obsessed with all of them at some point in my life :D Right now, I'm interested in studying more about ancient Asian civilizations - India, China, and Japan in particular, since I never had much of that in school. What I think would be really interesting, though, would be a 'comparative' course on the subject - what were the ancient Chinese doing when the Egyptians were building their pyramids, etc. Unfortunately, I'm horrible at remembering dates :darn



In addition, I want to start reading into African civilization as I've unfortunately ignored my own heritage in my earlier years.


Precolonial African history is really interesting. So's postcolonial, actually, it's all a very interesting history that is often not emphasized, in American schools at least. I was always very interested in the Asante/Ashanti Kingdom, in modern Ghana. One of the best classes I ever took in high school was African History, you should definitely look into it. There are some really good books out there on the subject. And if you haven't read it already, definitely read Roots :D

Gold Knight
April 25, 2007, 10:18 AM
Paper, I know what you mean about being obsessed with all the civilizations at one time or other, I'm that way too. It's just fun to learn about what came before us.

I love the Iliad, you aren't insane =D

I took African Art History in school, it definitely has some fascinating parts. But that's another one we know very little about... a lot of my papers had to have a speculative nature to them.

But I would like to know more about the kingdoms of Kush and Nubia for sure. The only kingdom we really know a LOT about there is Egypt, though, because of all their tombs and historical records.

Ichimaru Gin n Tonic
April 25, 2007, 10:57 AM
What i used to be interested in a civilization is how they "created" the Gods. Who and how did men, in each civilization, came up with the idea to worship something? Like how the Ancient Greek "established" Olympus and their Gods or Ancient Egyptian culture with their animal-shaped Gods.

ornis
April 25, 2007, 11:17 PM
Delphi of Greece - Definitely my biggest interest here, but probably because I LOVE Greek and Homeric mythology so much. Plus any place considered to be "the center of the world" in a civilization has a lot of significance obviously.




Heh-heh! The Center of the World... Omphalos. Refers to the mind, you think?

The Greeks used a fairly "open-minded" way to "know thyself"

Consider the Oracles. What if they were druggies? I mean... that is some zany philosophy. Critical education to me.

Now, was the common Pythia (oracle) discredited, or really high, when she "spoke her mind"

I wouldn't take any village gal and get her high, just for the love of knowledge...

Though, much more was at stake without the "Oracle's eye." War, famine, disease.

! Like Mangekyou Sharingan's true purpose

An all powerful "Third Eye" protects a village's livelihood for a selfless cost... only---Itachi twisted it! Hope it's true! Kishi spreads brilliance about like wildfire!

But honestly, I get a taste of hubris whenever I ponder... Greek MO... And that brings me back to the Uchiha Complex
-


Ornis, you might want to look into Shinto (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Shinto). Interesting stuff, that religion. I'm like reading up on it.



Thank you. The nudge gives me direction for my posting discretion.

Let me consider "grudges."

At once, I had "grudges" accompany some Japanese character traits (pride, confidence, nobility, grudges) but I removed grudges...

<According to your ample reference> One Shinto doctrine is for a person not to indulge in selfish interests. "Take life to survive. Respect the taking of life as a privilege allowed for your life's worth."

All things done, should be humbly so. All goals should be met the same.

Do you believe Shinto promotes a "good pride?" Purity should cause one to feel honored for being alive. So one should be honored---blessed---for being noble...

Your reference is very helpful, and I just realized why I instinctively removed grudges from those character traits.

Grudges lead to avengers and a human taking up the duty to spread a kami's wrath... such is too unfortunate to celebrate... necessary or not.

That's what I believe. That's why I pity Sasuke, now.
-
And Do Kesubei, I originally looked at the symbolic meaning of the shrines rather than their practical purpose.

I am at times a confused "idealist" when I should address topics objectively, but the historical significance of Kami and nature is deeply respected in the creation of the beautiful sites reserved for kami worship/enshrinement.

I'm reflecting on the essence of creating something that honors Japanese heritage.

Jester_Rogue
April 25, 2007, 11:25 PM
I was always interested in Ancient Egypt cause it is incredibley facinating but I like Paper have neglected my studies for quite some time...

I recently gained an interest in the kingdom of Hannibal(?) the person who went up against Alexander the Great on Elephants and other things. He ventured round the frontlines and came up behind Alexander but in the end Alexander was the victor. I think that ALexander also salted the land that Hannibal(?) inhabited

PaperYomiko
April 26, 2007, 12:08 AM
Jester, if you find out more about Hannibal, do share! The first thing I thought of was Hannibal Lector :D Seriously though, I could use some remedial history lessons. I think I've read about him in Latin class recently, but I don't remember much...


I love the Iliad, you aren't insane =D

That's very good to hear. I'll go tell my friends they're not allowed to make fun of me anymore :D


I took African Art History in school, it definitely has some fascinating parts. But that's another one we know very little about... a lot of my papers had to have a speculative nature to them.

But that's what's really cool about it, I think - more opportunity for original ideas!


The only kingdom we really know a LOT about there is Egypt, though, because of all their tombs and historical records.

That's so weird though, in a cool way, I think. That we really only know what we do about them because of their deaths. And that they built those pyramids all for the afterlife...it's really crazy, when you think about it.

miyi
April 26, 2007, 12:39 AM
I love Homer's Illiad and the Odyssey! I can read those stuff over and over!

about Hannibal, from what I remember from history class (damn it's been almost 4 years since I took them)..Hannibal was unmatched, even against more experienced Roman military.

Hannibal was the general of Carthage, and fought during the second Punic Wars against Rome, Italy. Carthage at the time which is south west of Italy, was the rival of Rome, and possibly equal in strength.

Everything Rome threw at Hannibal, Hannibal was the victor. He was a brilliant strategist. In the end, Rome's army was just too many, and they held off long enough to defeat Hannibal. Hannibal being in Rome meant he had to get reinforcements. I think it was because Carthage was unable to give him the reinforcements in time, and so he had to retreat back to Carthage and went on a defensive. It was Rome's Scipio who finally defeated Hannibal, and as soon as that happened, Carthage collapsed into oblivion, Rome's only worthy rival at the time.

You can read more about it here: http://www.thenagain.info/WebChron/Mediterranean/2ndPunic.html

very interesting stuff. In fact, read all about the Punic Wars, there were three of them.

juUnior
April 26, 2007, 06:59 AM
hmm seriously, I'm not really huge fan or just normal fan of ancient civilizations, but I really like films based on such things ^^ Also, a little offtopic, the "Secret Golden Cities" or something like that title of anime, was really nice to watch, it was based a little (or maybe more..) about Incs and Aztecs.

Sorry if it's to big offtopic ^^"

ornis
April 26, 2007, 03:41 PM
Paper, you sound ironic there: like we give them their afterlife or something... take how we study them.

That's so bizarre when you position the intrigue after they've died :XD But seeing it that way, I do guess I'm nutty like that--- I'm so flippin' lost probably ><

I'm high on irony at times---go figure >.>

PaperYomiko
April 26, 2007, 09:47 PM
Thanks for all the info, miyi! I was right, I have studied him before. Just forgot, as usual...but you're right, it's very interesting stuff. And nice to know there's another Homer fan around! :D

juUnior, nothing wrong with liking the movies...what got me into the Incas was reading Tin Tin, long ago...not to mention Indiana Jones is the best :XD

and ornis, what I've always found really ironic is all the effort people go to during their lives for the sake of their death, like building huge tombs and stuff. The Pope who commissioned Michelangelo to build his tomb for him is a good example. If I could commission Michelangelo for something, I'd want it to be celebratory of life, not death.

but you know, depending on how you look at it, we may actually be the ones to take away their afterlife, since we've disrupted their tombs. That's something I feel very conflicted with. For the sake of knowledge, not to mention art, I am grateful, but I also think that all people, no matter how dead they are, should be respected.

What do you all think about it? Since so much of our knowledge of these civilizations comes from studying their tombs, how do we balance respect for the dead with what it takes to discover that knowledge? Should everything be carted off to a museum, should we just forget about studying them, or is there a way to find a balance? Just curious :amuse

MadDog
April 26, 2007, 11:05 PM
I'm actually heading to Peru in a few weeks for a friend's wedding. We're going to visit Machu Picchu. I've always been fascinated by the ancient civilizations/cultures of South America so it should be a good time.

ornis
April 26, 2007, 11:25 PM
@ Paper

So we take their afterlife away and try to replace it with our philosophy and our want to glorify their works---art, history, everything. I've never thought about that before. But I have wanted to know why we forget each other for material essence---or rather abandon our humantity for anything... what has history remembered artists for?

Is it for the painting's value or for the painter's meaning?

Do we at times critique painters as insane because the pictures they paint give us a right to look through their art, their eyes, and into their souls?

What man can define a man?

Knowing the name of everything is a powerful tool for man. But are we able to understand it's power? Do we know what language is? It's all abstract and often used because it can be and I am frustrated because something so easy to use is dissected when I use it "impractically" just to show that point---and I feel limited in the end... and vent my issue immaturely.

Then people who never ask me about my problem, redirect my own concerns.

I am given direction without being understood.

Departed artists often receive the same. And they can't explain themselves. But I can, though choose not to in a reasonable way---because one day, when I'm dead I cannot promise hope for my dignity to be respected.

That's it, then. The only way we may respect the dead is perhaps to escape death. Is to say the dead who passed before us are in their place, and life is for us separate from them---forever.

It would be respect in a sense. Like "I've got mine, alive, and you have yours, dead; Keep to yourself, Death, and I will keep to me."

Though if we lived long enough, we'd pine to join the ground, I bet. This is all about escaping limits, I believe.

So, if we were to teach that stealing from Tombs limits our appreciation of the people in those chambers... maybe we could escape our foolishiness with a common goal---to beat what limits us.

Even so, what do we want to appreciate them for and how do we find out? An honest question. For peace, for balance, for what?

And how can we appreciate people for more than the sake of appreciating? Please feel welcome to respond.

EDIT: Let's call the above frustration some edited form of... "stream of consciousness" ---I'm sorry for "spitting" my mind like that >.>

miyi
April 27, 2007, 02:23 AM
Thanks for all the info, miyi! I was right, I have studied him before. Just forgot, as usual...but you're right, it's very interesting stuff. And nice to know there's another Homer fan around! :D

juUnior, nothing wrong with liking the movies...what got me into the Incas was reading Tin Tin, long ago...not to mention Indiana Jones is the best :XD

and ornis, what I've always found really ironic is all the effort people go to during their lives for the sake of their death, like building huge tombs and stuff. The Pope who commissioned Michelangelo to build his tomb for him is a good example. If I could commission Michelangelo for something, I'd want it to be celebratory of life, not death.

but you know, depending on how you look at it, we may actually be the ones to take away their afterlife, since we've disrupted their tombs. That's something I feel very conflicted with. For the sake of knowledge, not to mention art, I am grateful, but I also think that all people, no matter how dead they are, should be respected.

What do you all think about it? Since so much of our knowledge of these civilizations comes from studying their tombs, how do we balance respect for the dead with what it takes to discover that knowledge? Should everything be carted off to a museum, should we just forget about studying them, or is there a way to find a balance? Just curious :amuse


ok, I could be totally wrong here, so don't take my word on this one..

recalling from vague memory what I learned from history class:

During the Renaissance (17th Century), it became a common practice, especially among the elites, such as the Medici family (they were a wealthy family of bankers in Florence, Italy who sponsored the arts), to build a piece of art (whether they are sculptures, paintings, or tombs) that will represent who they are.

For example, before I die, I'll build a monument to represent who I am.

The purpose of these kind of self-representation projects, is so that they will live on forever, at least to those that are living. It was this idea of "immortality" through the arts that they were aiming for.

Today, we learn from ancient civilizations based on archeological finds, through their tombs, paintings, sculpture, etc. Had they not done this, their memory would have been lost forever.

So in this sense, I think it isn't an injustice that we are digging their tombs, because we aren't doing it out of disrespect, instead we are doing it to learn from them, and to perpetuate who and what they were. We are doing them a favor by popularizing them not only in our generation, but in future generations.

Besides, we aren't necessarily "destroying" these artifacts, we are simply "preserving" them and placing them in museums.

I wouldn't mind at all if in the future, some archeologists put my skull in a museum, in fact I would be flattered. But then again, I cannot speak for everyone. So I think as archeologists and historical scholars, we all have an obligation to respect the dead, and "study" them in a way without disturbing their peace, and I think so far we are doing well in that regard.

Then there are others, such as the thieves in Egypt, that "robbed" the treasures in the tombs of some Pharoah's, so this is an example of "desecrating" the dead.

ornis
April 27, 2007, 10:14 AM
ok, I could be totally wrong here, so don't take my word on this one..

recalling from vague memory what I learned from history class:

During the Renaissance (17th Century), it became a common practice, especially among the elites, such as the Medici family (they were a wealthy family of bankers in Florence, Italy who sponsored the arts), to build a piece of art (whether they are sculptures, paintings, or tombs) that will represent who they are.

For example, before I die, I'll build a monument to represent who I am.

The purpose of these kind of self-representation projects, is so that they will live on forever, at least to those that are living. It was this idea of "immortality" through the arts that they were aiming for.



Okay, is it really immortality to you---I mean, when I read a history book, how do I know exactly how these civilizations lived? And then, how can I give them another life through my memory when I don't really know them---the interpretation of ancient civilizations is not very reliable to me >.>

What is your opinion on the immortality bit, Miyi?

There's a great ambition to learn about ancient civilizations, but we can also lose ourselves in what we want to say about them... before we know what they did.

We can corrupt their meaning with impressions we give ourselves about objects they made. But they no longer belong to the dead. Yes we could leave them be or understand the creators by studying their creations... but who can stop nature from erasing man and the man-made?

We try. But we often ignore the purpose for the creation of those artifacts. And ironically we replace Nature's role, there. While we may end up only challenging nature's tendency to let dust return to dust, we actually take over, and the mind becomes a new tomb for the dead. Our perspective's and our art galleries---celebrate a cultural coffin.

But life and death go hand and hand... one man's tomb is another's phoenix.

miyi
April 27, 2007, 02:37 PM
What I meant by "immortality" is that, these people purposely made a lasting impression of themselves, in this world, so that they will be remembered in future generations.

It might help to know that during the 17th century (period of the Renaissance), there was this sort of cultural revival of the ancient civilizations of Rome and Greece. Scholars who studied and tried to learn from these past civilizations, embraced, popularized, and tried to emulate them.

Even after several hundreds of years after the fall of the Romam Empire, we see in the last 500 years copycats of Rome culture, for example, King Louis XIV of France, who considered himself (as evident in some of his self-portraits and sculptures), as a Roman Emperor. Or Napoleon, despot of France, who in Egypt tried to emulate Alexander the Great.

Cosimo de Medici (a member of a wealthy banking family) sponsored the arts, and in his city, he commisioned expensive massive building projects, to "beautify the city". In essence, he was practicing a Roman-like custom of "beautifying" or giving back to the city. Cosimo understood that by doing this, he will be remembered forever. That was what I meant by "immortality".

When we study the past through archeological excavations, we are not so different from the Renaissance Florentines. We, too, are learning a lot from the past. In fact, a lot of literature, science, medicine, math, can be attributed to studying the past. We wouldn't have algebra if it weren't for the contributions of Arabic mathematics.

This process of digging in the past is part of human nature. We do have obligations to respect the dead, and I think we are doing that just fine. At the same time, it would be a waste not to dig in the tombs, etc., because these things are meant to be discovered, learned, and perpetuated, so that these civilizations aren't lost in oblivion.

ornis
April 28, 2007, 12:46 AM
Math is a great example, miyi. Thanks. I see immortality a bit better now. We honor the Egyptians through algebraic trades or crafts. It's like Egyptians actually breathe every time we engineer a building. :)

amar_kun
May 02, 2007, 06:19 PM
does anyone study the dark age? because i've been to a seminar which talked about the so-called dark age of the world.. it seems that latest discovery from the historians shows that while the western civillization are undergoing dark ages, there is another civillization is achieving golden age at that time. however the fact kinda got kept secret for some political purposes.. however many leading historians nowadays is working hard to uncover the hidden civillization which is kept secret for the past centuries by our previous historian..

TechnoMagus
May 03, 2007, 09:00 AM
well while western europe was "struggling in the dark", the torch was very bright in the byzantine empire, china, the americas and the arab world was poised to become the brightest of them all at his time period.... :D

the_hellbringer
May 07, 2007, 03:11 PM
I can't believe nobody is speaking about the Incas.

It was a very big ancient civilizzation, tath arose from the highlands of Peru in 13th century. They conquered almost every south america.
The Tawantinsuyo (tawa=four suyo=region), wich was the name of the Incas Empire included part of the territory of what is now Clombia, Ecuador, Chile, Bolivia, Argentina and of course, Peru.
The apital of the Tawantinsuyo was in Peru, in a city called Cusco, qich means bellybutton.. because for the Icas, Cuzco was the center of the world.

Notice that I've written Cusco and Cuzco. That's because the Incas language, the Qechua, doesn't have writing, so nowadays, the people write it just like the words sounds.

They considered themselves as sons of the sun and they worshiped verything in the nature, so the lived in peace with the nature and with each other.

They were a peacefull society and they only had 3 rules. Ama sua, Ama quella, Ama Llulla. Don't be a thief, don't be a lier and don't be idle.
Everybody had to work for the Inca, but also for themselves and for their comunity. There where no money, you paid thing with other things or with work.

ne of the most impresive things about the Incas is their knowledge of engineering and their building abilities. They didn't know the wheel, but they carried really big stones for great distances. And they build great constructions without using any kind of cement.

Here's an example.

Here's one of the big rocks of Saccsayhuaman... it goes 3 meters below the ground
http://img519.imageshack.us/img519/3569/piedrotaul9.jpg

This is a part of the wall of the fortress of Saccsayhuaman

http://img211.imageshack.us/img211/2047/paredra6.jpg

Their constructions where antiseismical. They used trapezoidal architecture so the walls wouldn't fall. Teir architecture was so much better than the architecture that the conquistadors brought with them.
An example of taht is in the Qoricancha, wich was one of the biggest temples and it was dedicated to the Inti, the sun. Qori means gold and cancha means patio. Tat was beacause the walls were covered with gold, because gold represented the sun.
When the spanish came to Peru and brought the christianism, they build churches ontop of the temples to impose their religion.
The Santo Domingo (saint dominic) church was build on top of the Qoricancha, but their was a big earthquake on 1650 and then again in 1950 and the curch fell down... but the remanins of the Qoricancha stood still.

An example of the Incas architecture in the Qoricancha
http://img73.imageshack.us/img73/1930/arquitecturapx3.jpg

A contrast between the colonial architecture of the Santo Domingo church and the Incas architecture of the Qoricancha
http://img519.imageshack.us/img519/685/contrasteiz6.jpg



One of their biggest citadels was Machu Picchu, it is 1.5km x 1km and it was a sacred citadel dedicated for their religion. It is ontop of the Machu Picchu mountain in the Sacred Valley of the Incas. For unknown reasons the construction of this citadel was never finised. One theory is that a lightning struck the city.. that was a message of their gods to abbandon the city because it wasn't safe anymore.
The conquistadors never foud this city. It was found in 1911 by Hiram Bigham. Wel.. he really showed it to the world.. teh city was never lost. Their were people living in it when Hiram Bigham arrivedm and he payed them to show him the city and shut up.

This city was sacred for a reason. I was near de sky... near to their gods. And they prayed their so their gods can listen. There's a room with two stones with a hollow in the middle, like a biiiig stone contact lens case XD... they used to fill those with water so they can used them to look at the sky. Those stones whre water mirros. It was a sin to look directly into the sky, since the sun was a god (that explains why it hurts to look at the sun)
There's also a circular room with a window, and in the winter solstice the sun rise up between a gate in a nearby mountain and the light enters te circular room through that small window. That prooves that the Incas were also great astronomers.

This is Machu Picchu, and in the background is Huaynapicchu mountain
http://img516.imageshack.us/img516/6617/machupicchult6.jpg

Thsi is Machu Picchu seen from the top of the Huaynapicchu (there's a very difficult path to the top)
http://img516.imageshack.us/img516/351/machupicchudesdearribaje1.jpg

A panoramical view from inside of Machu Picchu
http://img519.imageshack.us/img519/1134/panoramicamachupicchuxt1.jpg


his is the fortress of Saccsayhuaman
http://img129.imageshack.us/img129/1112/panoramicasacsaywamaneq0.jpg

This is the fortress of Pisac
http://img519.imageshack.us/img519/7725/panoramicapizacmj2.jpg



And now some free publicity.....

Pease... vote for Machu Picchu to be one of the new 7 wonders of the world.
You can do it by clicking the imagen...

http://www.new7wonders.com/fileadmin/resources/Teaser/_machupicchu.jpg (http://www.new7wonders.com/index.php?id=373)

Ichimaru Gin n Tonic
May 07, 2007, 03:59 PM
Wow, thanks for the explanation, Raul! :D
I'm very interested in the antiseismical construction and the trapezoid stones, how did they ever came up with the idea to make such construction. Awesome!

the_hellbringer
May 07, 2007, 04:54 PM
Not only the stones. Everything was trapezoidal... the rooms, the doors, the windows.
It's like in the key stone of an arc. All the force and weigth goes down straight to the ground and the construction stand still.
I'm not a physicist or an architech so I can't explain exactly how does it work.

The great part is that they did't have computers, calculators, power tools, kwoledge of the wheel, big and strong animals for work (the biggest animal in their is a Llama)... they only had rocks, more rocks, tools made of rock, wood, some metals, an abacus made of wool with knots to represent numbers (it was called Quipu) and their own hands.

I would like to see that somebody trying tou build a thing like that using only those thing today.

Gold Knight
May 10, 2007, 05:19 AM
Cool post, hellbringer, thanks for that. I really should get to reading my Aztec/Inca art history book sometimes (a friend gave it to me for free, at the time we thought that I would have had to take a course on it XD ).

Charlie
November 08, 2010, 10:19 PM
There is a lot of interest about Aztec/Inca/Mayan civilizations. A lot myths concerning the Mayans, as well.

Thread re opened - you can post here again.

shaheer
November 09, 2010, 03:28 AM
hmmi am more interested in scandanevian ie viking culture their day to day chores... and on Poetic Edda
say do we have a mythological thread?
i would love to discuss the Ragnarök

Charlie
November 09, 2010, 04:14 PM
hmmi am more interested in scandanevian ie viking culture their day to day chores... and on Poetic Edda
say do we have a mythological thread?
i would love to discuss the Ragnarök

There is, I re opened it now. So go here (http://mangahelpers.com/forum/showthread.php?t=12048) for the Mythology thread.

steelwingcrash1
March 01, 2011, 09:37 AM
I've watched a certain documentary about the Incas and Mayan civilizations on National Geographic Channel or Discovery Channel. I forgot which between the two.

Anyway, I agree with GoldKnight that religion (gods and goddesses) played a significant role in forming those early civilizations. However during those times (every year, if I am not wrong in recalling), they offer human sacrifices so that their gods will shower them with abundance in their crops.

What happens to the human chosen for sacrifice? They outwardly plunge/stab/smash a sharpened rock deep in the solar plexus, cut open their chest, and then grab the still-beating heart out and raise it to the heavens. Afterwards, the priest assigned for this job flays the "entire" human skin out of the victim. The priest wears that freshly cut human skin still dripping with blood and then shows it in front of a cheering audience.

Also, ancient India had its share on human sacrifices. They called it as suttee. Suttee was the illegal act of burning a woman, who lost his husband, alive. Why was suttee performed during those early times? A woman who had lost her husband must sacrifice herself to the gods so that she herself reincarnates (?) to be a new goddess herself.
How was suttee performed? The body of the dead husband is to placed on top of a heap of sticks. Once the eulogy for the dead has been said by their priest, the woman follows to sit beside her laying husband, and waits as the men lights the fire and completely burns the woman alive.

I guess, with all these told, ancient history has a lot of dark secrets to tell us aside from their contributions in present civilizations. We can then justify that certain inhuman acts were already present during those times.

Charlie
May 17, 2011, 06:33 PM
So recently I saw this documentary / presentation from Project Avalon.
The video covers a range of topics dealing with ancient civilizations and what they have left behind.


The presentation is 46 minutes long audio file with slide shows.
Klaus Dona - from Project Avalon

Watch it here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XmMwo1Xzgus).
Hour and thrity mintues Long presentation from Project Camelot with same speaker.
Watch it here (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VSmkcn1hJWI) (This came first, the 46 minute link above is a follow up).

Bohemia22
June 27, 2011, 05:13 AM
It's such a shame that Cortéz and co. literally wiped out all of those marvelous civilizations in South Ameica. Their philosophy, especially the Toltecan and Incan is what intrigues me the most. Had they somehow maintained peaceful contacts with Europe, the society we have here now could be a lot more different in a better way.