Did humans create the Sahara desert?

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Did humans create the Sahara desert? Empty Did humans create the Sahara desert?

Post by Guest on Fri Mar 24, 2017 6:21 am

FRONTIERS—New research investigating the transition of the Sahara from a lush, green landscape 10,000 years ago to the arid conditions found today, suggests that humans may have played an active role in its desertification.


The desertification of the Sahara has long been a target for scientists trying to understand climate and ecological tipping points. A new paper published in Frontiers in Earth Science by archeologist Dr. David Wright, from Seoul National University, challenges the conclusions of most studies done to date that point to changes in the Earth's orbit or natural changes in vegetation as the major driving forces.


"In East Asia there are long established theories of how Neolithic populations changed the landscape so profoundly that monsoons stopped penetrating so far inland", explains Wright, also noting in his paper that evidence of human-driven ecological and climatic change has been documented in Europe, North America and New Zealand. Wright believed that similar scenarios could also apply to the Sahara.


To test his hypothesis, Wright reviewed archaeological evidence documenting the first appearances of pastoralism across the Saharan region, and compared this with records showing the spread of scrub vegetation, an indicator of an ecological shift towards desert-like conditions. The findings confirmed his thoughts; beginning approximately 8,000 years ago in the regions surrounding the Nile River, pastoral communities began to appear and spread westward, in each case at the same time as an increase in scrub vegetation.




http://popular-archaeology.com/issue/winter-2017/article/did-humans-create-the-sahara-desert

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Post by Original Quill on Fri Mar 24, 2017 3:50 pm

Fascinating premise.  I have only sniffed around the edges of this thesis, but it has implications for 1) what happened to the once-flourishing city of Timbuktu, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timbuktu;
and 2) how the erosion patterns on the Sphinx appear to reflect a tropical environment.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sphinx_water_erosion_hypothesis

I think the evidence presented by the Sphinx is the more compelling question.

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Post by 'Wolfie on Fri Mar 24, 2017 5:56 pm

Idea

IT HAS long and often seemed quite plausible that human activity will have helped accelerate both the local desertification, and longer term climate change, due to so many of "our" (i.e. Mankind's) poorer and more destructive actions in relation to the ecology :

Excessive deforestation
Bad agricultural practices
Over-grazing and resultant erosion
Changes to biodiversity
The use of fires for land clearing
Over-hunting of species
Frequent wars with "slash and burn" strategies
And increasing industrial fallout over the last few hundred years..


There is plenty of evidence as to what human intervention has done to the environments of the USA, Russia, Australia and Brazil as well --  so why not add those examples also, to the comparisons for a study of desertification in Africa ?         Arrow


Last edited by WhoseYourWolfie on Fri Mar 24, 2017 6:04 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by Guest on Fri Mar 24, 2017 6:04 pm

Original Quill wrote:Fascinating premise.  I have only sniffed around the edges of this thesis, but it has implications for 1) what happened to the once-flourishing city of Timbuktu, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timbuktu;
and 2) how the erosion patterns on the Sphinx appear to reflect a tropical environment.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sphinx_water_erosion_hypothesis

I think the evidence presented by the Sphinx is the more compelling question.


Its long been know that the damage to the Sphinx has been caused by rain, which would push back the date of when the Sphinx or maybe original a lion was first carved in antiquity Quill.
I think sometimes that Egyptologists are so wrong to still be dogmatic in believing that Ancient Egypt cannot be older than its present dating. To me there is evidence of earlier places like Jerico and the following

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6bekli_Tepe

So why not the Sphinx?

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Post by Original Quill on Fri Mar 24, 2017 6:46 pm

Thorin wrote:
Original Quill wrote:Fascinating premise.  I have only sniffed around the edges of this thesis, but it has implications for 1) what happened to the once-flourishing city of Timbuktu, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Timbuktu;
and 2) how the erosion patterns on the Sphinx appear to reflect a tropical environment.  https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sphinx_water_erosion_hypothesis

I think the evidence presented by the Sphinx is the more compelling question.


Its long been know that the damage to the Sphinx has been caused by rain, which would push back the date of when the Sphinx or maybe original a lion was first carved in antiquity Quill.
I think sometimes that Egyptologists are so wrong to still be dogmatic in believing that Ancient Egypt cannot be older than its present dating. To me there is evidence of earlier places like Jerico and the following

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/G%C3%B6bekli_Tepe

So why not the Sphinx?

I agree.

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Normal is broken.

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Post by nicko on Fri Mar 24, 2017 6:54 pm

Pictures of the Sphinx show clearly the marks of previous water levels.
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Post by Guest on Fri Mar 24, 2017 7:00 pm

nicko wrote:Pictures of the Sphinx show clearly the marks of previous water levels.



Indeed they do Nicko

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