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The word civilization is related to the Latin word, civitas ”city”. The term is used in several ways, generally denoting complex human cultural development. Some scholars restrict the use of the term to urbanized societies, in other words, cultures that have achieved a development that has allowed them to create large and permanent settlements... [continue reading]
When people spoke of Africa in ancient times, they generally meant the northern coast of Africa, and more specifically the coast west of Egypt (Cyrenaica and the Maghreb). The ancients vaguely knew of the existance of sub-Saharan Africa, but were unaware of its geography. Despite its location in Africa, Egypt never expanded westwards. The expanse of... [continue reading]
The Aegean Sea lies between the coast of Greece and Asia Minor (modern-day Turkey). It contains over 2,000 islands which were settled by the ancient Greeks; the largest among them being Crete (Kriti) and the best known and most often photographed, Santorini (Thera or Thira). Both of these islands have strong associations with ancient Greek history and myth... [continue reading]
The world’s longest river, located in Egypt, the Nile flows 4,665 miles northward to the Mediterranean Sea (a very unusual direction for a river to take). The Nile flows from two separate sources: the White Nile from equatorial Africa and the Blue Nile from the Abyssinian highlands. The Nile was regarded as the source of all life in ancient Egypt... [continue reading]
Sumer (Sumerian: ki-en-ĝir "Land of the Lords of Brightness", Akkadian: Šumeru; possibly Biblical Shinar) was a civilization and historical region in southern Mesopotamia, Iraq. It is the earliest known civilization in the world and is known as the Cradle of Civilization. The Sumerian civilization spanned over 3000 years and began with... [continue reading]