Ancient ruins in Ethiopia

  1. Brian G Turner

    Brian G Turner He's a very naughty boy! Staff Member

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  2. Vertigo

    Vertigo Mad Mountain Man

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    I suppose it might be possible to make an estimate of the size from the size of the mosque they found.
     
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  3. J Riff

    J Riff The Ants are my friends..

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    Cool shiny beads!
     
  4. Phyrebrat

    Phyrebrat ba-Ba-ba-brat

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    It's so exciting when new archaeological discoveries in Africa are made outside of Egypt.

    West African archaeology would be mindblowing if the wet climate had allowed it to remain. As it is we only really have the odd bit here and there like the awesome bronze heads from the Kingdom of Ife (Nigeria).

    I wonder how society would differ if our exposure to ancient civilisations was not limited to Egypt, or the Hellenistic & Byzantine and Roman stuff.

    pH
     
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  5. hitmouse

    hitmouse Well-Known Member

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    Well it isn't really, if you think for a minute. The Tamil civilisation, in South India, rich in culture and architecture, is still going strong after about 3000 years. There are numerous cultures and civilizations throughout asia minor, asia which are arguably equivalent to the ones you mention. It is just that western classicism tends to concentrate on stuff which is closer to home.
     
  6. Phyrebrat

    Phyrebrat ba-Ba-ba-brat

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    I think you might be missing my point. I agree, we focus so much on Ancient Greece and Egypt. I didn't mean to downplay the likes of Angkor Watt, South East Asia, or even the Americas Olmecs and Toltecs etc. However, just because the Tamil Civilisation is still going strong is neither here no there in relevance to the point I made which was it has not had the influence it could or should.

    I think it likely that proximity comes into play here, though. West Africa is far nearer than South East Asia and so my reasoning would be that were there more artefacts in that part of the world, the likelihood of it influencing our (western) society would be greater.

    pH
     
  7. Brian G Turner

    Brian G Turner He's a very naughty boy! Staff Member

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    Indeed, it's a shame Britain tends to focus only on immediate influences and Christian interests. Even the Byzantine Empire is effectively relegated to that of a background curiosity, and Islamic history seems to rarely get any attention at all.
     
  8. hitmouse

    hitmouse Well-Known Member

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    I think it is a fluke of history, geography and European culture that classical education (which, along with Christian theology, was the main component of secondary and university education in much of Europe from mediavel times until the late 19th century) concentrated on ancient Mediterranean cultures. They were accessible for those rich enough to go on the grand tour, the artistic and architectural aesthetic was and is embedded in the infrastructure, and the philosophers and poets were profoundly influential. I guess orientalism was a growing thing from the 18th century, but it was very much a minority sport in comparison.
     
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