Back to where it all began CULTURE PROPERTY IVORY WARS SITES TO SEE PANGOLINS THE RISE OF HOMO
2 | ORIGINS
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ON THE COVER
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The Open Source Initiative Origins is a free publication that anyone can access via the World Wide Web. This project was inspired by a group of anthropology and science undergraduates striving to bring science back to its main mission: providing knowledge to all ages in comprehensible forms and not focusing on profits. Here at BermudaQuest we want you to experience your cultural heritage whenever you would like from your favorite Internet-enabled gadget! It is time to rediscover where we came from! Issue 4 | Spring 2013 © 2012-2013 Origins, founded by Melanie E Magdalena in association with BermudaQuest
Copyright: This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License. Permission of the authors is required for derivative works, compilations, and translations. Disclaimer: The views expressed in this publication are those of the authors and do not necessarily reflect the position or views of Origins. The publisher, editor, contributors, and related parties assumes no responsibility of loss, injury or inconvenience of any person, organization, or party that uses the information or resources provided within this publication, website, or related products.
CONTENT | 3
IN THIS ISSUE: Ivory Poaching Epidemic
Ivory wars are killing off elephants and rhinoceroses for their tusks and horns. NIKOLE VALENCIA
The Rise of Homo
Where did we come from? Who were the first people like us? MARGARET Smith
Out of Africa, modern day humans began evolving into what we recognize ourselves as today : Homo sapiens JOSE-PIERRE ESTRADA
INFOGRAPHIC A Simple Timeline of Homo evolution MELANIE E MAGDALENA
Culture Property [OP-ED] The Commodification of ethnicity. KATRINA NEWBURN
DEPARTMENTS 4 7 26 39
DAN CULLETON | CC BY 2.0
From the Editor Creature Feature Sites to See Review It By BermudaQuest
4 | ORIGINS
STAFF MELANIE E MAGDALENA
A word from the editor I have to start out by saying...
We “survived” the End of the World! So, shall we party like there’s no to-Maya? A lot has happened since our last issue and this time we’re traveling back in time to the place where human history all began - Africa. From our evolutionary (biological) history, to places to see, and modern day issues like the ivory wars and cultural property rights – Origins is packed and now officially declared an Open Source Journal of Anthropology and Science. We hope you enjoy this issue and come back to read our upcoming Summer Solstice issue on all things Fringe in the world of Science.
Happy Spring Equinox! Melanie E Magdalena firstname.lastname@example.org
Editor-in-Chief & Creative Designer
The Founder of Origins and BermudaQuest.
MARGARET SMITH Copy Editor
Anthropology undergraduate focusing on Japanese studies for her career in archaeology at the University of New Mexico.
Director of Donor Relations Specialist in marine animals and other exotic reptiles, birds, and amphibians.
CONTRIBUTORS KATRINA NEWBURN Archaeology undergrad awaiting her graduation ceremony in 2013 from the University of New Mexico. JOSE-PIERRE ESTRADA Anthropology undergraduate teaching others that there is more to life than meets the eye. KAREN MEZA CHERIT Undergraduate studying Business Management at El Instituto Tecnológico de Estudios Superiores de Monterrey (ITESM). NIKOLE VALENCIA Third year student at the University of New Mexico studying Elementary Education.
AD | 5
6 | ORIGINS
CREATURE FEATURE | 7
Creature Feature The Pangolin
Body armor, tree climber, ant eater, oh my!
A pangolin, also called a “scaly anteater,” is a burrowing mammal found across Asia and sub-Saharan Africa. Loss of habitat and illegal poaching has made this incredible animal among the most endangered mammals in the world. There are eight pangolin species; all are part of the genus Manis (family Manidae). Their closest relatives are Xenarthrans - anteaters, armadillos, and sloths. Of the eight species, four live in Africa: the Cape or ground pangolin, the tree pangolin, the sloth pangolin, and the long-tailed pangolin. The other four Asian species look a bit different since they have bristles that stick out from between the scales. Pangolins remain among the most mysterious creatures studied. Being a secretive, nocturnal mammal, little is known about their behavior and habitat making it quite difficult for scientists to study them.
THREE THINGS TO KNOW
Protective, tough, overlapping scales cover most of their body. Made of keratin (like human hair and nails), these over-lapping scales allow them to roll up into a ball when threatened. Yes, the scales do resemble artichoke leaves and they grow constantly throughout the pangolin’s life.
Pangolins have poor vision but a strong sense of smell which helps them find ants and termites to trap on their long, sticky tongues.
Just as birds file their beaks on calcium blocks in bird cages, a pangolin’s scales are filed down when they burrow underground. Their entire body is not scaly though; they have furry undersides.
In Chinese legends, the pangolin travel all over the world underground. In Cantonese, pangolin (“Chun-shua-cap”) translates to “the animal that digs through the mountain” or “scaly hill-borer.”
Pangolins are skilled burrowers, capable swimmers, and some species are tree-climbers!
8 | ORIGINS
Conservation Status Pangolins are disappearing due to illegal wildlife trade; smugglers sell them for culinary and medicinal use. Most illegal trade is into China, Indonesia, and Malaysia. With their meat prized as a delicacy, and fetuses, scales, and blood used in medicine, the high demand for pangolins across Asia is plummeting pangolin populations. Since 2002, nearly 50,000 pangolins have been smuggled into Indonesia and almost 8,000 between 2003 and 2008 into Thailand. Despite the illegal trade, traffickers in Vietnam maximize their profits by fattening up these tree-hugging mammals with force feeding and injections - the heavier the pangolin, the higher the price.
HOPE FOR THE PANGOLIN There is hope for the pangolins. A new IUCN-SSC (The International Union for Conservation of Nature-Species Survival Commission) Pangolin Specialist Group was established in 2012 to act as “a global voice for pangolins by working to advance knowledge and understanding of pangolins worldwide, their conservation needs, natural history and ecology and to catalyze action to meet these needs.” Fighting the illegal trade of pangolins is difficult with public and governmental awareness: where are the pangolins coming from and where do they end up. You can be apart of this awareness by sharing what you’ve learned about this remarkable species and celebrating on February 16th World Pangolin Day!
DID YOU KNOW THE FIRST PANGOLIN LIVED DURING THE EOCENE? THAT’S ABOUT 50 MILLION YEARS AGO!
Fossil of Eomanis, an extinct pangolin (from the Eocene-Ypresian, 48.6-55.8 million years ago). PHOTO CREDITS: GHEDOGHEDO | CC BY-SA 3.0 (ABOVE); VALERIUS TYGART | CC BY-SA 3.0 (PAGE 7); Николай Усик | CC BY-SA 3.0 (PAGE 9).
CREATURE FEATURE | 9
A Little PANGOLIN Trivia 1. All pangolin species can climb trees.
2. Anteaters, armadillos, and sloths are not related to the pangolin.
3. Illegal poaching of pangolins has made them among the most endangered mammal species.
4. Just like human hair and nails, pangolins have keratin scales that continuously grow throughout their lives.
5. Pangolins can swim! They also curl up into a ball when they feel threatened.
Answer key: 1, false; 2, false; 3, true; 4, true; 5, true
Although conservation efforts are being made to preserve this amazingly rare species, more can be done. You can help save the pangolin as well as other sensitive species from extinction. Any donations made will help provide grants for research and conservation efforts. Donations can be sent to BermudaQuest Foundation via PayPal on our website:
or via check or money order to: BermudaQuest PMB190 2800 E. Whitestone Blvd. Ste. 120 Cedar Park, Tx 78613
For more information Please visit the following sites (by clicking on the name if viewing digital version) for more information about the pangolin.
10 | ORIGINS
Say NO to ivory wars!
Weâ€™re on zazzle.com/bermudaquest
IVORY POACHING EPIDEMIC | 11
IVORY POACHING EPIDEMIC
African Elephant, Loxodonta africana Hunted for its tusks, elephant deaths are at a decade high. IMAGE BY THE US FISH AND WILDLIFE SERVICE, PUBLIC DOMAIN
The poaching elephants has played a large role in the history of supply and demand of ivory. The tusks of male bulls have been sought for many decades. Since a ban on poaching elephants was put into place in 1989, the number of male elephants killed has continued to skyrocket. In 2011, records show the highest number of male elephants killed in the past decade. The poaching of elephants shows that the safety of the animal is being neglected or overlooked. Unfortunately, the lives of the male elephants are becoming exceedingly tragic. With the efforts of the Africaâ€™s wildlife authorities the number of elephants are slowly rejuvenating. Even with the aid of the wildlife park the elephants are still poached for the very sought out ivory that fuels the black market. According to The New York Times (2012), the hunt for ivory is like blood
diamonds, fueled by conflict across Africa. The poachers are finding new tactics which make it harder for the authorities to counteract them. Poachers are now starting to use helicopters while hunting elephants in order to not leave any footprints behind. The demand of ivory keeps the poachers active. The wildlife authorities have come across 1,200 tusks in Tanzania, which shows that poaching is still a major problem. Not only do they stumble among illegally acquired tusks, but also they found dead elephants left to rot with only their tusks removed. This is an on going issue that needs resolution for elephants as well as rhinoceroses. Wildlife reservations are auctioning off tusks in order to fund the growing park. In time, the poaching epidemic should see a decline. l By BermudaQuest
BJORN | CC BY-SA 2.0
24 | ORIGINS
THE RISE OF HOMO | 25
african origins MARGARET SMITH
Humans have their origins in chimpanzees and other nonhuman primates. In order for humans to jump start their evolution they were reliant on environmental changes. The climate began to dry out causing savannah climates to form and grow. This allowed early humans to migrate to the savannah. Over time they became bipedal allowing them to see over tall grass, run faster, use their hands, and become more energy efficient. Early humans lost most of the body hair they possessed, which enabled them to better regulate their body temperature in the harsh savannah sun. This major change in physique made it possible for humans to succeed in scavenging for food and over time develop tools and hunt. Our Homo relatives, the Neanderthal (pictured left) also had these adaptations. Through scavenging early humans began a trend that allowed them to grow bigger and bigger brains. By eating meat they were able to consume excess calories that were devoted to early brain development. When humans began to hunt the extra caloric intake allowed even bigger brains to develop, but it was not until much later that brain growth hit its largest spike. This is due to early hunting methods not being very effective. As hunting methods were perfected over time they were able to catch bigger and more elusive prey. Meat proved to be an essential staple to supporting the growth of the large brains that humans have today. Within the fossil record there is evidence that supports the theory of human evolution being ignited by climatic change. Yet, with only 5% of the fossil record available to us there are missing sections to our evolutionary development. Through excavations we have discovered many fossils, but because the conditions in order to preserve fossils are so few there are many missing segments in time that we may never have access to. p By BermudaQuest
FILIPLACHOWSKI & TIM | CC BY-SA 2.0
THE RISE OF HOMO JOSE-PIERRE ESTRADA
Millions of years ago, today’s cultures and politics was an Africa cradling the beginning of modern humans. It wasn’t a simple jump from prehistoric apes to what we are today, several “batches” of hominins were tried and either went extinct or adapted.
Thirty-five years ago, a remarkable discovery was made. A set of footprints resembling those of modern day people were found fossilised south of the Olduvai gorge. Based on their age and size, these footprints were not those of modern humans at all, but of an ancestor 3.9 to 2.9 million years old: Australopithecus afarensis. In 1978, paleoanthropologist Mary Leaky made history with her discovery of the Laetoli footprints.
BENJAMIN HOLLIS | CC BY 2.0
The first recognized human ancestor is Homo habilis, one of the earliest members of the genus Homo that lived around 2.5-1.5 million years ago (MYA) in Eastern and Southern Africa. Its name means “Handy Man” in reference to its tool making. One of the specimens was found in Olduvai Gorge along with stone tools, dubbed “Olduvai Tools”. H. habilis still had traces of ape-like features such as arms longer than legs and had a cranial capacity about half the size of modern humans. H. habilis is thought to be the ancestor of the more sophisticated Homo ergaster, which in time H. ergaster developed to be the more human appearing species Homo erectus.
H. ergaster lived between 1.9-0.7 MYA and was one of the first of ancestors to look like modern humans. Its name means “workman” because they show that they were hunter and gatherers that wielded simple stone tools. H. ergaster could have been the beginning of the last Homo to develop in Africa and be the first homo to leave Africa.
Homo erectus, or the “upright man”, is considered to be the descendant of H. ergaster but others believe them both to be contemporary. H. erectus lived from 1.8-.4 MYA in an area that spreads from Spain, India and china, and is considered to have been the first species to have expanded beyond Africa. They were the first early humans to have possessed modern human-like body proportions such as elongated legs with shorter arms compared to the size of the torso. These features are considered adaptations to a more terrestrial life, indicating the loss of earlier tree-climbing adaptations. The elongated legs gave them the ability to walk and possibly run long distances. In the fossil record, H. erectus is often associated with the earliest hand axes, one of the first major innovations in stone tool technology. Homo antecessor was a very early European, 1.2-0.8 MYA. It is suggested that H. antecessor is the evolutionary link between H. ergaster and Homo heidelbergensis. Its name means “early settler” and was given to the belief that they were the first hominins to enter Europe. In the fossil record there has been tooth marks on their bones suggesting they were cannibals but no further evidence has been discovered, nor any other type of evidence that could also suggest funerary rites. Due to the cooler climate in Europe, the hominins were forced to adapt yet again.
Anatomically modern humans began before the Homo lineage...
Meet Australopithecus afarensis. You can call her
Lucy Lucy is the friendly name for the hominid Australopithecus afarensis, an early human ancestor who lived three million years ago. Her remains, found in Ethiopia in 1974, make up about 40 percent of a whole skeleton and was one of the earliest ancestors of man at that point in time. The remains show a mixture of both ape and human features such as long dangling arms, plus the pelvis and leg bones show that three and a half foot tall Lucy walked upright. Lucy’s size suggests her as a female since most male A. afarensis were quiet larger.
120 | CC BY-SA 3.0
HOW LUCY GOT HER NAME Later on the night of her discovery, there was celebration party where the song “Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds” by the Beatles was repeatedly played, thus inspiring our bipedal ancestor’s name.
THATCHER CLAY | CC BY 2.0
Adapting to the New Land
cold and was different enough to have a new name: Neanderthal.
Homo heidelbergensis, nicknamed â€œGoliath,â€? lived 850,000 to 400,000 years ago, and was possibly contemporary with Homo erectus. There is also the possibility that H. heidelbergensis is the direct ancestor of Homo neanderthalensis and Homo sapiens. Since they lived in a cool environment, their bodies were likely the first to adapt to conserve heat; plus, they were the first to control fire. They had a larger cranial volume, but still smaller than the average of modern humans, and had more advanced tools and behavior such as routinely hunting large animals with wooden spears. This early human also broke new ground by being the first species to create simple dwellings out of wood and rock. As time went by, H. heidelbergensis adapted further and became proficient in the
Neanderthals lived throughout Europe during the Ice Age. Even though they lived at the same time during other humans similar to modern humans today, they were different physically. They had larger brains, wider and broader bodies, stocky arms and legs, twice the strengths of modern humans, bodies built to retain heat longer and more efficiently, and larger noses which made it easier to take in greater amounts of oxygen in the cold and high altitude environment â€“ they were made to endure the Ice Age. Neanderthals made tools and hunting implements. They were more simplistic and easier made than other tools made from different humans. Scientists today craft similar tools and weapons, using experimental archaeo-
logy, to hunt with as an attempt to reenact Neanderthal hunting methods. The reenacted hunt suggests the Neanderthals worked in groups using cooperation and ambush. Bones recovered suggest that they did not throw the tools like spears; instead they confronted the animals and stabbed them using their superior strength. The Neanderthals were not so different form modern humans. Not every evolutionary adaptation favors larger lifeforms and can act as an impedement. An exception to evolving into a larger figure is Homo floresiensis, a hominin that lived about 94,000 to 17,000 years ago on the island of Flores, Indonesia. They were nicknamed â€œhobbitsâ€? due to their short stature (the average Hominin on Flores reaching three feet six inches), shruggedforward shoulders, tiny brains and relatively
large feet due to their short legs. Despite their small body and brain size, the fossil record suggests H. floresiensis used fire and had stone tool technology, possibly to hunt game or fight off predators such as the giant Komodo dragons. Looking back over millions of years, no organism could determine what path life would take. What if the Neanderthals became the dominant species? How would things have played out up to this day? Would we have the vast array of knowledge we developed? Adaptation has always been the key role to life on this ever changing planet. As we developed tools and learned to utilize them, we developed thoughts and instincts that favored us, humans, as a thriving species, and who knows, maybe we are still evolving. fG
32 | ORIGINS
THE RISE OF HOMO | 33
YANN | CC BY-SA 3.0
Culture Property: the commodification of ethnicity
OP-ED BY KATRINA NEWBURN
CULTURAL PROPERTY | 23
When speaking of how culture and ideas about through the capitalistic market. In these situaculture are being mobilized today, one must tions a society is using the global desire for exotic look at what the definition of cultures and creating corporaculture and globalization are. tions or culture parks to attract CUL TURE: While there have been many tourists and bring in revenue. “The customary beliefs, social definitions of globalization One interesting case is that of forms, and material traits of a starting in the 1950’s and of the GEMA (Gikuyu, Embu, Meru racial, religious, or social group; culture starting in the late Associaiton) tribe of Kenya. The 1800’s by Edward Burnett Tylor, also: the characteristic features of president (a Gikuyu) decided I believe it is important to use everyday existence (as diversions they needed a change and or a way of life} shared by a popular source. If we, as formed the MEGA Corporation people in a place or time Americans, are to discuss how which is a holdings or venture (e.g. popular culture or these ideas are being mobilized capitalist corporation with the southern culture).” today then we need to look at investments going back to the these definitions through a lens individuals of the tribe. that is most commonly used by the average American: the The question of how to genGLOBALIZATION: internet. Below are definitions erate income from tourists by (concise Encyclopedia): given by the Merriam-Webster way of using ones culture was “Process by which the definition online that I think answered by the Zulu nation experience of everyday life, most suit this discussion. in the way of a Culture park. marked by the diffusion of The Zulu nation has become commodities and ideas, is It is important to look at globalia commodity complete with becoming standardized around zation whenever speaking about the world. Factors that have con- a trademark and advertising culture in a modern sense. The that includes a badge that tributed to globalization global market affects everylooks like a clothing tag. In include increasingly thing around us, including our many cases, this labor-tosophisticated communications beliefs and point of view. culture initiative helps the and transportation technologies Throughout the history of culculture decide which traditions and services, mass migration tural and ethnographic anthrothey no longer deem necesand the movement of peoples, pology, globalization has been sary from those they wish to a level of economic activity that seen as a great evil, dereaffirm. In this way, modern has outgrown national markets stroying native undisturbed capitalism and the global through industrial combinations landscape of culture in the same economy help cultures that and commercial groupings that manner as environmentalists see are on the fringes to survive cross national frontiers and the wild and exotic rainforest into future generations. Howinternational agreements that being destroyed by capitalism. reduce the cost of doing business ever, if not handled properly, it It has been the duty of anthro- in foreign countries. Globalization can generate inequality in the pologists to protect and preculture, where there was offers huge potential profits to serve these cultures for future companies and nations but has equality before. This generally generations. This view of “us” comes from outside sources been complicated by widely needing to protect “them” is also differing expectations, standards having too much input into how the western dogma of “the of living, cultures and values, and the way the society sells itwhite man’s burden” came into self (Comaroff et al. 2009: 12). legal systems as well as unexbeing. This is Friedman’s point about pected global cause-and-effect the Lexus and the olive tree. It linkages. See also free trade.” John and Jean Comaroff (2009) is expected that large global see it a bit differently. Through companies such as Lexus will their studies, they came across multiple situaoverpower and overrun smaller cultures and tions where the local culture was being protected individual beliefs (the olive tree) which will break By BermudaQuest
24 | ORIGINS
down communities and destroy their traditions. However, this same system also makes it possible for the smallest political community to use the technologies and markets created by the global market to preserve the olive trees (Friedman 2000).
LEARN MORE Comaroff, John L. and Jean Comaroff. Ethnicity,Inc.. Chicago, London: The University of Chicago Press, 2009.
Today there is a degree of integration of markets that has never been seen before. This was easily witnessed by the recession of the United States economy which was quickly followed by the recessions going on all over Europe and the rest of the world. All markets are tied to one another. Therefore if your culture is tied to the market as a commodity, then your culture is tied to the world and vice versa. â€œThere are few societies today in which much of life in not interwoven with economic activities in distant parts of the world. Yet throughout the nineteenth and most of the twentieth century, global markets left most societies virtually untouched. Most of those traditional societies have now disappeared as such or else they have been drawn irresistibly into the network of global market relationships (Gray 1998:56).â€? Therefore, globalization is the change that occurs when societies join with and depend upon world markets. Gray is saying that even if a political community uses the global market system to save and preserve its culture, that community is inevitably changed. Traditionally there werenâ€™t markets. The exchange of goods and services were not based on a monetary foundation but on a foundation of relationships usually based on kinship structures. Once western markets were introduced, these basic kinship relationships were disrupted. In modern market based societies, economic activities are separate from the rest of social life and sometimes dominate the whole of society (Gray 1998:12).
Gray, John. False Dawn: The Delusions of Global Capitalism. New York: The New Press, 1998.
HELICO | CC BY 2.0
Traditionally the globalization of the marketplace was viewed as a simple case of us versus them; the western market inexorably taking over the rest of the world. The question of if globalization is good or bad remains today. Modernly, the process of globalization is very complex with people standing on both sides of the fence. The Comaroffs make a very interesting point about how the colonized respond to the colonizers culture. The market was not originally intended to be used to safeguard a culture. However, marginalized communities have found ways in the system to do just that. While globalization may be inexorable at this point, it is not unchangeable. This type of change was shown by the Trobriand cricket club changes to the international style of cricket that was brought to the island. This is continually shown through the corporatization of communities and the creation of culture parks. It is becoming evident the culture is the property of the people and can be trademarked, packaged, and sold like any other commodity. y
Friedman, Thomas L. The Lexus and the olive tree. New York: Anchor Books, 2000.
CULTURAL PROPERTY | 25
OLLY301 | CC BY-SA 2.0
SITES TO SEE
AFRICA JOSE-PIERRE ESTRADA & KAREN MEZA CHERIT
28 | ORIGINS
ASRAM | CC BY-SA 3.0
Located in Tunisia is a well preserved ancient Roman city. The most famous monuments are the Punic-Libyan mausoleum, the Hypogeum, the theater, and the temples of Saturn. Other ancient roman features include baths, temples, and arches.
MATIJN.MUNNEKE | CC BY 2.0
There are several claims to fame in Ethiopia. One of the famous is the finding of Australopithecus afarensis, aka Lucy, dating to 3.2 million years ago. Other attractions are the mysterious granite obelisks in Axum and the Bet Giorgis (Saint George) Church in Lalibela.
JOACHIM HUBER | CC BY-SA 2.0
Located in northwestern Botswana, this collection of four hills is home to a collection of over 4,500 rock paintings, ranging from whales to rhinos and lions. Some of these paintings are 20,000 years old. Each hill also has a name: “male” for the highest, the “female”, “child” and an unnamed knoll.
OLIVER VAAS | CC BY-SA 3.0
32 | ORIGINS
ASMalony | PD
In Madagascarâ€™s Ankarana National Park, you can see both the flora and fauna along with lakes, caves, and the Tsingy limestone towers - these towers formed over time with the aid of erosion.
DAVID BERKOWITZ | CC BY 2.0
MALINDI Located in Kenyaâ€™s Malindi Marine National Park, this tourist attraction offers not only the possibility to experience Kenyan wildlife on a safari, but also a trip along the edge of Watamu to observe the shallow marine-life diversity of Africa. If animals are not your main reason for travel, you can also enjoy diving and water sports.
Located in the Sahara Desert, the caves of Tassili n’Ajjer (meaning“Plateau of the Rivers”) are a library of Neolithic cave paintings depicting animals, such as giraffes, and people, such as shepherds leading their flocks and men hunting. This Algerian territory is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
GRUBAN & JETSKE | CC BY-SA 2.0
SUSAN ADAMS | CC BY-SA 2.0
Matobo National Park is located in Zimbabwe, this park is very interesting because it offers the possibility of carrying out various activities such as climbing, running, horseback riding, all this without forgetting the essence of a national park, and you can also observe the flora, fauna and geography of the place, besides giving you the opportunity to visit archaeological sites within the region.
S J PINKEY | CC BY 2.0
And last but not least, you have Egypt, which by itself can offer a lot of places to visit, such as the Pyramids of Giza, the temple of Abu Simbel, the Luxor complex and Karnak, to name a few. In every one of these ruins ancient stories of the enigmatic Egyptian culture have been locked away for generations to reveal.
REVIEW IT | 39
THE COMPLETE PYRAMIDS SOLVING THE ANCIENT MYSTERIES
BY MARK LEHNER In Lehner’s book, he provides amazing detail of every major pyramid found in ancient Egypt so far. The book looks into the ceremonial purposes of the pyramids as both temples and tombs, by analyzing the hieroglyphs and placement of artifacts within them. He also provides detail on not only the pyramids, but the myths and beliefs the Egyptians had surrounding them that gives
A GUIDE TO GODS, GODDESSES, & TRADITIONS OF ANCIENT EGYPT
BY GERALDINE PINCH While giving a detailed background on what defines a myth, Geraldine Pinch describes how geography and Egypt’s early history impacted the myths that were passed down. Within the book there is a timeline that covers the progression of Egyptian mythology throughout the history of Egypt in a clear and concise manner making the subject matter easier to understand, along with a large amount of pictures. She then goes on and presents several myths ranging from prominent deities to the less known. The book also includes insight on what major events in Egyptian history caused many myths to form and gives insight as to their purpose and meanings. Finally, a glossary of terms used in mythological and cultural studies allows readers to have quick access to the definition of terms they might not be familiar with.
Barbara Mertz gives realism and comedy in her fiction writing, based during and within the Egyptian Empire. She presents insight and information on the daily life of Egyptians through a fictional archaeologist’s perspective. The material encompasses the lives of the pharaohs, everyday lifestyles, culture, faith, looting, exploration, and discoveries while making sure your face continues to crack a smile. Within this book there is sound scholarship with a twist of mystery and wit enabling the reader to learn interesting facts on Egypt while reading what seems to be just an exciting mystery novel. Mertz comprises her book with proper and clear archaeological methods. Aspiring Egyptologists, students, and enthusiasts can now have their cake and eat it too.
TEMPLES, TOMBS, AND HIEROGLYPHS A POPULAR HISTORY OF ANCIENT EGYPT
BY BARBARA MERTZ the readers a cultural aspect to relate to and not just the architectural design. There is an immense amount of pictures and diagrams used to contextualize the layout and artifacts within the pyramids. By including riveting tales of looters, expeditions, and explorers he spins a world of his own that allows the readers to know not just the ancient history of the pyramids, but the recent history as well. Mark Lehner’s book encompasses a mass amount of detail in a clear and concise manner. It is a long read, but well worth the time. By BermudaQuest
Published on Mar 21, 2013
This 4th issue of Origins, our 2013 Equinox Edition, takes us back to the beginning - the very beginning of Human Evolutionary History. It's...