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Northeast africa

Back to Africa: 5000 to 3000 B.C.

Out on the horn of Africa, men in Somalia were producing frank incense and myrrh for sale to Egypt as early as 3,000 B.C. The Cushitic-speaking people continued expansion south of Egypt and into Nubia. Due to the change in the Sahara climate, more Negro and Sudanic people settled just west of the Cushites (also Kushites), increasing the population there (Ref. 8 ) Additional Notes

A map of Egypt of this period may be found in the early pages of the next chapter. The exact dating of the various dynasties and eras of ancient Egypt continue to be debated.

NOTE: Insert Map taken from Reference 97 (page 61)

The dates used in this manuscript are those given by Professor Easton in The Heritage of the Past (Ref. 57 ) and these are fairly well coordinated with those used in The Columbia History of the World (Ref. 68 ) and other recent publications. The first stone constructed sepulchre of pyramidal design was built at Saqqara, near Memphis, during the reign of Zoser (also Djoser), an early king of the 3rd dynasty, between 2,700 and 2,630 B.C. This was called the "Step Pyramid" and was actually the creation of Imhotep, chief minister of the king, a man who was later deified. Recent desert studies would suggest that this step pyramid and the larger ones to follow were actually shaped after nature's own desert, wind-swept dunes of the western desert. Sand-stone and solid rock mountains and dunes all seem to have naturally assumed a conical shape, as the winds spiral about them to exhaust their energy at the pointed top. It is very possible that the man-made structures were modeled after these natural ones, and it is said that a rocky knoll of unknown size underlies the Great Pyramid and that there is a natural stone out-cropping at the tomb of Queen Khent-Kawes. It is thus suggested that the ancients not only simply enlarged and refined already existing natural conical structures, but that the very nature of these shapes have allowed them to withstand the winds and sand storms of all the ages since they were built

The conical shapes of primitive shelters from the American Indian tepees to African and Arabian Desert tents and Mongolian and Kazak yurts in central Asia may all resist the winds in the same way (Ref. 59 )
. Still more intriguing is the finding in the desert of forms very much like the sphinx, indicating that where constantly directed winds hit certain geological formations an unusual shape somewhat like that of a reclining dog with raised head, is formed.

Can the sphinx simply be a dressed-up natural formation of this type? Similar shapes have been found in the desert as far back as 1909 (Ref. 59 , 243 ) and there are suggestions of the same phenomenon in parts of Utah today. Copper mines were developed in the Sinai by Pharaoh Snefu, a successor of Zoser. He also used large ships to increase sea trade (Ref. 222 ).

Bronze was in use in Egypt by 3,000 B.C. and the great pyramids were started about 2,600 B.C. in the time of Cheops of the 4th dynasty

Thomas (Ref. 213 , page 32) dates the Great Pyramid at 2,900 B.C. and comments on its exactly squared base, the 50 degree slope of all surfaces and the fact that the stones are so well fitted together that a blade cannot be inserted between them
. Because of the fertility of the Nile flood basins in this 3rd millennium, the average peasant produced three times as much food as his family needed and thus he was capable of feeding the flood control workers and the builders of public buildings and Pharaoh’s tombs. The first wooden boats were made in exact imitation of the old reed boats. An entire such vessel of Cheops', dating to 2,700 B.C., has recently been excavated from his pyramid. It has a length of 143 feet and appears more graceful than a later Viking ship, but could only have been used for ceremonies on the smooth Nile, as it had no internal ribs and could not have survived ocean sailing. Only the papyrus ships from which it was copied could withstand the ocean waves.

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Source:  OpenStax, A comprehensive outline of world history. OpenStax CNX. Nov 30, 2009 Download for free at http://cnx.org/content/col10595/1.3
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