Submitted by Charles Knighton
Mr. Rahim Shabazz needs to be made aware that citing a patently false “fact” casts doubt on any other assertion he makes. In his August 7th Editorial letter he claims “Africans in the Nile Valley had domesticated vegetables, grains and other crops 7,000 years before any other civilization.”
I find it increasingly difficult to assign any credibility to Black historical revisionists who seemingly will not be satisfied until every major advance in early human history is rooted in Africa, true or not. What began as a justifiable crusade to make the world aware of actual African achievements by Black people proud of their heritage has increasingly fallen under the spell of agenda-driven propagandists and provocateurs who have yet to learn the lesson that material falsehoods professed as truth will eventually destroy what was originally a good cause.
As I understand it, the retreat of the last Ice Age (from c. 13,000—c.10,000 BCE) released huge amounts of water in many parts of the world and produced climate changes, such as plentiful and regular rainfall, which helped make desert land more fertile. Before long, people learned how to domesticate animals and farm fields. This major advance in people’s control over their food resources occurred very rapidly in what we now refer to as the Fertile Crescent, a region stretching from Anatolia (Turkey) across the eastern Mediterranean coast and Mesopotamia (Iraq) to the Zagros Mountains in Persia (Iran). In about 10,000 BCE hunter-gatherers found that if they planted cereal seeds in watered fields, they would grow into new cereal crops the next year.
The earliest farms began to appear in western Asia in about 9,000 BCE. Farmers also learned how to select wild animals and breed them in captivity to give birth to more domestic types. The farmers learned to store food, and this meant they no longer needed to move regularly to keep themselves and their families clothed and fed. Within 1,000 years small farming settlements had grown into larger ones, and the first seeds of civilization began to emerge.
If Mr. Shabazz or anyone else is able to produce reliable archaeological/scientific evidence that any similar development occurred in the Nile Valley 7,000 years previous to this, or for that matter any time previous to about 10,000 BCE, then please excuse my obvious ignorance. If not, then perhaps a little research of world history is in order—there is plenty to know.