Monday, September 22, 2008

New Items on the Sahara Wet Period

6000 years ago, the Sahara Desert was wet and lush.  Climate in Europe was then much colder and wetter also, with heavier rains in Tropical Africa.  Here's a couple of articles on the Sahara wet period, which parallel the findings as presented in my book Saharasia: The 4000 BCE Origins of Child Abuse, Sex-Repression, Warfare and Social Violence, In the Deserts of the Old World.

All of this new discovery is basically in keeping with the findings presented in Saharasia years ago: an early wet period in the Saharasian regions characterized by food abundance and peaceful social conditions, followed at some point by drying-out, food scarcity, increased conflict and human social armoring.

For the researcher, here is an excellent climate-reconstruction website which covers the period inclusive and after the last glacial Ice Age epoch, going back some 150,000 years.
http://www.esd.ornl.gov/projects/qen/nerc.html

Thanks to Tom DiFerdinando and Joseph Heckman for sending these items below.


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http://www.plosone.org/article/info:doi%2F10.1371%2Fjournal.pone.0002995
Lakeside Cemeteries in the Sahara: 5000 Years of Holocene Population and Environmental Change

http://ngm.nationalgeographic.com/2008/09/green-sahara/gwin-text/1
Lost Tribes of the Green Sahara
How a dinosaur hunter uncovered the Sahara's strangest
Stone Age graveyard
The photo and video section on this one is very good.

http://www.sciencemag.org/cgi/content/abstract/320/5877/765
Climate-Driven Ecosystem Succession in the Sahara: The Past 6000 Years
If you cannot download the full article, then try this summary from Science News:
http://www.sciencenews.org/view/generic/id/31886/title/A_little_drier_every_day
This report is for an isolated ecosystem that benefited from drainage and spring water over aeons, with a broader skirt of vegetation around its central lake... and so its climate history is not representative of the broader Sahara.  Nobody starved at this particular location, but it is not reflective of other more distant regions which had no such constant water sources.   Unfortunately, the authors make statements trying to generalize this very special circumstance to the entire Sahara.  But it is very useful to know, isolated patches of the larger extremely dry Sahara remained wet all the way into modern times.





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