This Giraffe is at least 6,000 Years Old

Recorded in 1987 by French archaeologist Christian Dupuy, two remarkable life-size depictions of giraffes were engraved on the weathered surface of a sandstone outcrop in north-eastern Niger. The animals cannot be seen from ground level; they are only visible by climbing onto the boulder. They are thought to date from between 6,000 and 8,000 years ago, to a period known as the Neolithic Subpluvial, when environmental conditions were much wetter and the Sahara was a vast savannah capable of sustaining large mammals such as giraffe. And, of course, humans. The engravings reveal a sophisticated artist who utilized multiple techniques including scraping, smoothing and deep engraving of the outlines. This was not the first fumblings of an amateur, but someone who had been taught techniques, and was part of a larger artistic tradition. A systematic study of the area has identified 828 further engravings, including 704 animal forms, 61 human forms, and 17 inscriptions of Tifinâgh script.

Beadnet dress from Egypt’s 4th Dynasty, during the reign of Pharaoh Khufu 2551–2528 BCE. It is the oldest surviving example of a dress in this style. And yes, it would have put the wearer’s body on display in a way that is barely acceptable at a burlesque by today’s standards.

The dress has been reassembled from approximately seven thousand beads (no record mentioned how long the reassembling took) found in an undisturbed burial of a female contemporary of Pharaoh Khufu. Although their string had disintegrated, a few beads still lay in their original pattern on and around the mummy, allowing modern archaeologists to accurately reconstruct what it had once looked like. The color of the beads has faded as well. But when it was first made, the beadnet was blue and blue green, to imitate the precious stones lapis lazuli and turquoise.

The Mysterious Religion of Carthage

Carthage's beliefs originated from its founding civilization, Phoenicia, but Carthage developed its own version of the Phoenician pagan polytheistic religion. This video has a nice overview of the city's religious origins, their pantheon, and their religious practices.

The Odd Relationship between Malaysia and South Africa

Malaysia invested heavily in South Africa's economy post-Apartheid. Between 1995 and 1997, the principal sources of direct foreign investment in South Africa were first the United States and then, surprisingly, Malaysia, followed by Germany, the United Kingdom, and Japan. Apartheid had been a major foreign policy priority for Malaysia in the 1980s and early 1990s. The Malaysian PM Mahathir Mohamad had pushed for international cooperation in sanctioning South Africa, while providing support to the African National Congress, the opposition party in South Africa. Nelson Mandela even visited Malaysia for four days within a year of his release from prison. With such a background, it was natural for Malaysia to transition to supporting South Africa after the end of Apartheid.

However, that does not explain why Malaysia cared about South Africa's Apartheid in the first place. This was part of Malaysia's larger policy (since the 1960s) in "south-south cooperation." They thought it important for post-colonial countries to help each other and reduce their dependency on industrialized nations. South-south cooperation also was tied to Malaysia's active involvement in the Non-Aligned Movement. If post-colonial countries worked together, it would strengthen countries' ability to stay out of Cold War entanglements with the US or the USSR.

The first South African pride parade was held on October 13th, 1990. It is the first known event of its type on the African continent. Since 1990, only two other countries in Africa have held known pride parades: Mauritius annually since 2006, and Uganda in 2012, 2013, 2014, and 2015. It was canceled in 2016 and 2017 by the government for "gay promotion."

Where Was Cattle Domesticated First?

Cattle were domesticated independently in South Asia, West Asia (Anatolia), and Africa from local wild bovines. In South Asia (what it today Pakistan), cattle appear to have been domesticated by about 6,500 to 6,000 BCE. In Anatolia, cattle appears to have been domesticated a little earlier, between 7,000 and 6,500 BCE. African cattle domestication happened at least by 6,000 BCE. However, it is possible that it happened much earlier, with an earliest suggested date of 9,000 BCE. If the earlier date is correct, cattle were first domesticated in Africa.

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    By Lillian Audette

    This blog is a collection of the interesting, the weird, and sometimes the need-to-know about history, culled from around the internet. It has pictures, it has quotes, it occasionally has my own opinions on things. If you want to know more about anything posted, follow the link at the "source" on the bottom of each post. And if you really like my work, buy me a coffee or become a patron!

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