3200 bc

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Pranu Mutteddu, Sardinia

The necropolis of Pranu Mutteddu is one of the most important funerary areas of pre-Nuragic Sardinia and is located near Goni, a small village in the province of South Sardinia. The complex has the highest known concentration of menhirs (large standing stones) and megaliths in Sardinia (about sixty, variously distributed in pairs, groups or arrays), two megalithic tombs and a Domus de Janas surrounded by stone circles. Domus de Janas (Sardinian: “House of the Fairies” or of the “Witches”) are a type of pre-Nuragic chamber tombs found in Sardinia. They consist of several chambers quarried out, resembling houses in their layout.

The site was used from the early Chalcolithic Period (late 5th millennium BC to early 3rd millennium BC) to the time of the Ozieri Culture, a prehistoric, pre-Nuragic culture that lived in Sardinia from circa 3200 to 2800 BC.

The entrance to Newgrange, a prehistoric monument in County Meath, Ireland, 1905
Newgrange (Irish: Sí an Bhrú) is a prehistoric monument in County Meath, Ireland, about one kilometre north of the River Boyne. It was built about 3200 BC, during the Neolithic period, which makes it older than Stonehenge and the Egyptian pyramids. Newgrange is a large circular mound with a stone passageway and chambers inside. The mound has a retaining wall at the front and is ringed by ‘kerbstones’ engraved with artwork. There is no agreement about what the site was used for, but it has been speculated that it had religious significance – it is aligned with the rising sun and its light floods the chamber on the winter solstice. It is the most famous monument within the Neolithic Brú na Bóinne complex, alongside the similar passage tomb mounds of Knowth and Dowth, and as such is a part of the Brú na Bóinne UNESCO World Heritage Site. Newgrange also shares many similarities with other Neolithic constructions in Western Europe, such as Maeshowe in Orkney, Scotland and the Bryn Celli Ddu in Wales.

King Tut's Blade Made of Meteorite

King Tut was buried with a dagger made of an iron that literally came from space, says a new study into the composition of the iron blade from the sarcophagus of the boy king.

Using non-invasive, portable X-ray fluorescence spectrometry, a team of Italian and Egyptian researchers confirmed that the iron of the dagger placed on the right thigh of King Tut’s mummified body a has meteoric origin.

The team, which include researchers from Milan Polytechnic, Pisa University and the Egyptian Museum in Cairo, detailed their results in the journal Meteoritics and Planetary Science.

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Egypt Facts

Egyptian history as a “united” place is said to have begun in 3200 BC when King Menes (also called Narmer) united the Upper & Lower Kingdoms. The last native dynasty fell to the Persians (now Iran) in 341 BC and was then replaced by Greeks, Romans, and Byzantines. Arabs only brought Islam and Arabic as a language into Egypt in the 7th century AD, which is relatively “new” in Egypt’s long history.

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Hunebed D18, Rolde, Drenthe, Netherlands

Hunebedden are chamber tombs similar to dolmens and date to the middle Neolithic (Funnelbeaker culture, 4th millennium BC). They consist of a kerb surrounding an oval mound, which covered a rectangular chamber of stones with the entrance on one of the long sides. Some have a more complex layout and include an entrance passage giving them a T-shape.

Hunebed D18 dates from 3400 to 3200 BC. It is a large hunebed, measuring almost 43feet (13 m) long, one of the largest in the Netherlands.

LGBTQ+ and Kemeticism

I thought a lot today about being LGBTQ+ and being a Kemetic Pagan. I have been a little worried about being “out” because I didn’t want anyone to think less of me. I have been struggling with my identity for a while and it sucks that I’m not sure which Kemetics would be accepting of it. Heru-sa-Aset made me feel a little bit better by reassuring me that he is also LGBTQ+ and he loves and watches every LGBTQ+ person. But that got me wondering why there is so little documentation of LGBTQ+ in Ancient Egypt. However, with the help of Djehuty, Heru-sa-aset, other Netjeru, and some critical thinking, I came to this conclusion:

Ancient Egypt has a very long, complicated history, and writing only started in 3200 BC, therefore so much myth, and history is lost. Many things that were documented did not survive long enough to be discovered, and many things disintegrated over time.

Not only that, but it was an early civilization, and a state power hierarchy. Fertility was heavily emphasized because more people meant more contributions to the overall power/influence of the state, and more people to produce surplus of goods (for the elite, temples, etc). Warfare was common, so the more people= the more warriors and also the harder a place is to take over. Unfortunately, homosexuals can’t reproduce with each other, and common people who weren’t interested in a heterosexual relationship and reproducing were pretty much erased from Ancient Egyptian rhetoric and history. Even Pharoahs went through the pressure of reproduction, usually, they had marry to produce an eventual heir. So if they had any lovers that didn’t fall into this category, it was pretty much not talked about and eventually erased from history.

Furthermore, the Pharoah in charge dictated much of what was to be written and implemented in society, which is why Hatsheptut was almost erased from history (a sexist new Pharoah was jealous of her success and accomplishments, and wanted people to forget about her forever). This also happened to much of lgbtq+ history, partly because reproduction was so important to the success of the state and the more children commoners had the more workers the state had for upholding and building elite (and state) success.

I could go on, but remember, just because there’s not as much LGBTQ+ documentation in Ancient Egypt as say Ancient Rome and/or Ancient Greece doesn’t mean they didn’t exist! (Plus Egypt is way older than those two combined,and faced many changes, conquerors, erasers of history, and many documents disintegrated from age). So love yourself fellow LGBTQ+ Kemetics and be proud! Your Netjeru will love and accept you for who you are. If others think less of you because of who you are, that only reflects negatively on them, and means nothing negative about you. I send my support to all my fellow LGBTQ+ Kemetics!

Architecture (Part 1): Ancient Egyptian Mastabas

Menes was the first pharaoh of Egypt, uniting Upper & Lower Egypt into a single kingdom.  This was the beginning of the Old Kingdom era (3200-2680 BC, and of the 1st Dynasty.  Egyptian architecture began to flourish during this time.

The Egyptians believed that life on earth was temporary, but the spiritual life was eternal.  Therefore, the religious monuments needed to last.  While Ancient Egyptian palaces and houses have collapsed over the centuries, the religious buildings have endured for longer.  The tomb was the gateway to the afterlife, and the temple housed the gods.

The mastaba was the tomb.  It is Arabic for “stone bench”. They were designed with the same plan as an Egyptian house.

It was a regulated mound with several small rooms, built over a broad pit (so it was underground and above ground).  This gave space for the dead person and their provisions for the afterlife.  The central room had the sarcophagus, and the surrounding rooms contained funerary offerings.

The walls sloped inwards.  Wooden/mud-brick pillars were first built, then covered in rubble, and finally walled in mud-brick.

4th Dynasty mastaba.

Entrance to the Mastaba of Ti (5th Dynasty).

4th & 5th Dynasty mastabas.

Mud-brick was the usual material for domestic buildings in Egypt.  It was made from a mixture of mud and straw.  It was excellent for building in the arid climate, and the Mesopotamians had used it for their ziggurats.

The royal mastaba often had a mud-brick façade around it, with alternating projections & recessions.  This probably copied the timber panelling of the early palaces.  The façade was often painted in bright colours, and traces of this survive.

Reconstructions of 1st Dynasty mastabas.  Both are attributed to Queen Merneith.

But during the 3rd & 4th Dynasties (2780-2565), attention moved away from the mastaba’s exterior and towards its interior, for security reasons.  The exterior became simpler.  The burial chamber was sunk deep into the rock, and security measures such as stone portcullises were added.

A false door was usually on the tomb’s eastern side, facing the Nile. This allowed the deceased’s spirit, or ka, to enter & exit the tomb as it pleased, and travel upon the river.  It was made of mud-brick or stone, as an imitation of the façade’s wooden door.

False door (6th Dynasty).

During the 4th Dynasty (2680-2565), non-royal mastaba cemeteries were built near/around royal mastabas.  These non-royal tombs contained high officials, and the tombs were probably an honour bestowed on them by the pharaoh.  A small chapel was included – often a simple niche with an offering table for dedications to the deceased, on the outside of the mastaba.

The most sophisticated tombs had many chambers inside them, as a full-scale residence for the deceased, as well as a gateway to eternity.  The rooms were decorated with scenes of daily life, and natural motifs.  They depicted the afterlife as an “idealized parallel to Egypt”.  These rooms included storerooms, a chapel, resting places, and dining areas.

The following photos are all from the tomb of Merefnebef (6th Dynasty).

Fishing scene & marsh scene.

Jewellery workshop.

Merefnef sitting with one of his wives, watching harpists & dancers.

Merefnebef (II) and his wife Hemi, seated before offerings.

Hieroglyphic list of offerings.

Egypt - A Brief History. The regularity and richness of the annual Nile River flood, coupled with semi-isolation provided by deserts to the east and west, allowed for the development of one of the world’s great civilizations. A unified kingdom arose around 3200 BC and a series of dynasties ruled in Egypt for the next 3 millennia. The last native dynasty fell to the Persians in 341 BC, who were replaced by Greeks, Romans, and Byzantines. It was the Arabs who introduced Islam and the Arabic language in the 7th century; they ruled for the next 6 centuries. A local military caste, the Mamluks, took control around the year 1250 and continued to govern after the conquest of Egypt by the Ottoman Turks in 1517. Following the completion of the Suez Canal in 1869, Egypt became an important transportation hub, but also fell heavily into debt. Ostensibly to protect its investments, Britain seized control of the government in 1882, as nominal allegiance to the Ottoman Empire continued until 1914. Partially independent from the UK in 1922, Egypt acquired full sovereignty following WW2. The completion of the Aswan Dam in 1971 and the resultant Lake Nasser have altered the time-honoured place of the Nile in agriculture and the ecology of Egypt. A rapidly growing population (the largest in the Arab world), limited arable land, and dependence on the Nile continue to overtax resources and stress the population.

EGYPT - Important Dates

c. 5,000 BC People begin to settle down to live and grow crops along the banks of the Nile for the first time

c. 3200 BC Writing begins in Egypt.

c. 3100 BC Legendary King Menes (Namer) unites Egypt. Upper and Lower Egypt are joined together under one Pharaoh for the first time

c. 2630 BC Imhotep builds the first pyramid

c. 1500 BC Earliest examples of the Book of the Dead

c. 1380 BC Temple of Luxor by Amenhotep III is built

1367-1350 BC Reign of Amenhotep IV (Akhenaton) who abandons Egyptian polytheism for monotheism

1347-1339 BC Reign of Tutankhamen

1182-1151 BC Reign of Ramses III; Hebrew migration out of Egypt

1070-712 BC Collapse of the New Kingdom

669 BC Assyrians conquer and rule Egypt

332 BC Alexander the Great conquers Egypt and founds Alexandria. A Macedonian dynasty rules until 31 BC

31 BC Rome conquers Egypt. Cleopatra commits suicide after Octavian’s armies defeat her forces

AD 642 Arab conquest of Egypt. Egypt becomes Islamic

969 Cairo is established as the capital

1250-1517 Mamluk (armies of slaves, often Turks/Cumans) rule

1517 Egypt is absorbed into the Turkish Ottoman Empire

1822 Jean Francois Champollion deciphers the system of Egyptian hieroglyphs from the Rosetta Stone

1882 British troops take control of Egypt

1914 Egypt becomes a British protectorate

1922 Egypt gains independence from Britain

1953 Egypt is declared a Republic

1954 The British leave Egypt

1970 The Aswan High Dam is completed

1971 Egypt’s new constitution is introduced. The country is renamed the Arab Republic of Egypt

1979 Egypt-Israel Peace Treaty is signed in Washington DC, between Anwar El Sadat and Menachem Begin, making Egypt the first Arab country to official recognize “Israel”

1981 President Anwar El Sadat is assassinated; Hosni Mubarak becomes president by a national referendum

2011 President Mubarak steps down amid protests

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Bandurria, Peru

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bandurria,_Peru

The site was investigated by Rosa Fung in 1973 and 1977. These investigations concluded that the site belongs to the Late Archaic period, from the 4th to the 3rd millennium BC. Some of the radiocarbon dates obtained were between 2,500 and 2,300 BC.

Bandurria represents an early coastal fishing settlement featuring the first evidence of a ceremonial stone architecture. Archaeological sites belonging to the Late Archaic period had been identified previously to the north, but Bandurria was prior to them chronologically.

In August 2005, the research work restarted on the site, more than 30 years after its discovery. The Bandurria Archaeological Project, led by Alejandro Chu, uncovered a section of a monument built with boulders and mortar. These recent excavations have uncovered the evidence of monumental architecture, and established that this was an urban center distinct from the other monumental sites on the north central coast of Peru. This may represent the earliest evidence of urbanism in this larger coastal area.

The site is divided into two distinct sectors. The area featuring domestic occupation is the largest. Most of this area was destroyed by the irrigation project.

The sector featuring monumental architecture at first seemed like a natural formation made up of low rocky hills. However, a thorough review of the surface and surroundings of these hills revealed at least 4 major mounds, to which other smaller mounds were associated.

In 2007, additional radio-carbon dates have been obtained. According to Alejandro Chu Barrera, the director of the Archaeological Project of Bandurria, the site is now dated firmly to 3200 BC. This is older than Caral, the more famous site in the River Supe Valley to the north, that has previously been described as ‘the oldest city in the New World’. Caral is located 33 km northeast of Bandurria.

Bandurria has similar architecture to Caral and several other sites in the Supe Valley, featuring a sunken circular plaza and stairways. There are also other related structures constructed in a symmetrical pattern.

There are also other coastal sites in Peru that have been dated very early as the result of recent excavations. They include Sechin Bajo with the oldest radiocarbon dates of 3600 BC, and Huaricanga, dated to about 3500 BCE.

Unfortunately Bandurria has been subject to systematic destruction that began when the nearby irrigation project started in 1973. Since it was visited in 2002 for the first time, the archaeological site was invaded by squatters, who built shacks on the mound.

Subsequently, the Directorate General of Archaeological Heritage of the Peruvian National Institute of Culture tried to protect the archaeological site. The regional government has also been supportive. Students from the Faculty of Management and Tourism of the Jose Faustino Sanchez Carrion National University of Huacho have also contributed to the preservation efforts.