The Barbary lion was a Panthera leo leo population in North Africa, regionally extinct today. This population occurred in Barbary Coastal regions of Maghreb from the Atlas Mountains to Egypt and was eradicated following the spreading of firearms and bounties for shooting lions. A comprehensive review of hunting and sighting records revealed that small groups of lions may have survived in Algeria until the early 1960s, in Morocco until the mid-1960s; until 2017, the Barbary lion was considered a distinct lion subspecies. Results of morphological and genetic analyses of lion samples from North Africa showed that the Barbary lion does not differ from lion samples collected in West and northern parts of Central Africa, it falls into the same phylogeographic group as the Asiatic lion. The Barbary lion was called "North African lion", "Berber lion", "Atlas lion", "Egyptian lion". Barbary lion zoological specimens range in colour from light to dark tawny. Male lion skins have light manes, dark manes or long manes.
Head-to-tail length of stuffed males in zoological collections varies from 2.35 to 2.8 m, of females around 2.5 m. Skull size varied from 30.85 to 37.23 cm. Some manes extended under the belly to the elbows; the mane hair was 8 to 22 cm long. The colour and size of lions' manes was long thought to be a sufficiently distinct morphological characteristic to accord a subspecific status to lion populations. Mane development varies with age and between individuals from different regions, is therefore not a sufficient characteristic for subspecific identification. Barbary lions may have developed long-haired manes, because of lower temperatures in the Atlas Mountains than in other African regions in winter; the size of manes is not regarded as evidence for Barbary lions' ancestry. Instead, results of mitochondrial DNA research support the genetic distinctness of Barbary lions in a unique haplotype found in museum specimens, thought to be of Barbary lion descent; the presence of this haplotype is considered a reliable molecular marker to identify Barbary lions in captivity.
Results of a long-term study on lions in Serengeti National Park indicate that ambient temperature and the level of testosterone influence the colour and size of lion manes. In historical accounts, the weight of wild males was indicated as 270 to 300 kg. Yet, the accuracy of such data is questionable. A lion from Constantine, Algeria was the type specimen for the specific name Felis leo used by Linnaeus in 1758. Following Linnaeus's description, several lion specimens from North Africa were described and proposed as subspecies in the 19th century: Felis leo barbaricus described by the Austrian zoologist Johann Nepomuk Meyer in 1826 was a lion skin from the Barbary Coast. Felis leo nubicus described by the French zoologist Henri Marie Ducrotay de Blainville in 1843 was a male lion from Nubia, sent by Antoine Clot from Cairo to Paris and died in the Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes in 1841. In the 20th century, there has been much debate and controversy among zoologists on lion classification and validity of proposed subspecies: In 1939, Glover Morrill Allen considered F. l. barbaricus and nubicus synonymous with F. l. leo.
Reginald Innes Pocock subordinated the lion to the genus Panthera, when he wrote about the Asiatic lion. In 1951, John Ellerman and Terence Morrison-Scott recognized only two lion subspecies in the Palearctic realm, namely the African lion Panthera leo leo and the Asiatic lion P. l. persica. Some authors considered. In 2005, P. l. barbarica and somaliensis were subsumed under P. l. leo. In 2016, IUCN Red List assessors used P. l. leo for all lion populations in Africa. In 2017, the Cat Classification Task Force of the Cat Specialist Group subsumed the lion populations in North and Central Africa and Asia to P. l. leo. Results of a phylogeographic analysis using samples from African and Asiatic lions was published in 2006. One of the African samples was a vertebra from the National Museum of Natural History that originated in the Nubian part of Sudan. In terms of mitochondrial DNA, it grouped with lion skull samples from the Central African Republic and the northern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo.
While the historical Barbary lion was morphologically distinct, its genetic uniqueness remained questionable. In a comprehensive study about the evolution of lions, 357 samples of wild and captive lions from Africa and India were examined. Results showed that four captive lions from Morocco did not exhibit any unique genetic characteristic, but shared mitochondrial haplotypes with lion samples from West and Central Africa, they were all part of a major mtDNA grouping that included Asiatic lion samples. Results provided evidence for the hypothesis that this group developed in East Africa, about 118,000 years ago traveled north and west in the first wave of lion expansion, it broke up within Africa, in West Asia. African lions constitute a single population that interbred during several waves of migration since the Late Pleistocene. Historical accounts indicate that in Egypt lions occurred in the Sinai Peninsula, along the Nile, in the Eastern and Western Deserts, in the region of Wadi El Natrun and along the maritime coast of the Mediterranean.
In the 14th century BC, Thutmose IV hunted lions in the hills near Memphis. The growth of civilizations along the Nile and in the Sinai Peninsula by the beginning of the second millennium BC and desertification contributed to isolating
The leopard is one of the five extant species in the genus Panthera, a member of the Felidae. It occurs in a wide range in sub-Saharan Africa, in small parts of Western Asia, on the Indian subcontinent to Southeast and East Asia, it is listed as Vulnerable on the IUCN Red List because leopard populations are threatened by habitat loss and fragmentation, are declining in large parts of the global range. In Hong Kong, Kuwait, Libya and most in Morocco, leopard populations have been extirpated. Contemporary records suggest. Leopards are hunted illegally, their body parts are smuggled in the wildlife trade for medicinal practices and decoration. Compared to other wild cats, the leopard has short legs and a long body with a large skull, its fur is marked with rosettes. It is similar in appearance to the jaguar, but has a smaller, lighter physique, its rosettes are smaller, more densely packed and without central spots. Both leopards and jaguars that are melanistic are known as black panthers; the leopard is distinguished by its well-camouflaged fur, opportunistic hunting behaviour, broad diet and its ability to adapt to a variety of habitats ranging from rainforest to steppe, including arid and montane areas.
It can run at speeds of up to 58 kilometres per hour. The earliest known leopard fossils excavated in Europe are estimated 600,000 years old, dating to the late Early Pleistocene. Leopard fossils were found in Japan; the common name'leopard' is derived from the Old English word'leuparz' used in the poem The Song of Roland written in the late 8th century. It is thought to be a Greek compound of λέων'leōn' meaning lion and πάρδος'pardos'; the word'panther' is derived from the Latin word'panther' and the ancient Greek πάνθηρ'pánthēr'. The phonetically similar sounding Sanskrit word पाण्डर'pând-ara' means'pale yellow, white'; the specific name pardus is derived from the Greek πάρδαλος'pardalos' meaning'spotted'. The leopard's skin colour varies between individuals from pale yellowish to dark golden with dark spots grouped in rosettes, its belly is whitish and its ringed tail shorter than its body. Its pupils are round. Leopards living in arid regions are pale cream, yellowish to ochraceous and rufous in colour.
Spots fade toward lower parts of the legs. Rosettes are circular in East African leopard populations, tend to be squarish in Southern African and larger in Asian leopard populations; the fur tends to be grayish in colder climates, dark golden in rain forest habitats. The pattern of the rosettes is unique in each individual, its fur is soft and thick, notably softer on the belly than on the back. It tends to grow longer in colder climates; the guard hairs protecting the basal hairs are short, 3–4 mm in face and head, increase in length toward the flanks and the belly to about 25–30 mm. Juveniles have woolly fur, appear dark due to the densely arranged spots, its white-tipped tail is about 60–100 cm long, white underneath and with spots that form incomplete bands toward the tail's end. The leopard's rosettes differ from those of the jaguar, which are darker and with smaller spots inside; the cheetah has small round spots without any rosettes. The leopard is sexually dimorphic, males are heavier than females.
It is muscular, with short limbs and a broad head. Males stand 60 -- 70 cm at the shoulder; the head-and-body length is between 90 and 190 cm. While males weigh 37–90 kg, females weigh 28–60 kg; these measurements vary geographically. Leopards are larger in areas where they are at the top of the food chain, without competitive restriction from larger predators such as the lion and tiger. Alfred Edward Pease accounted to have seen leopards in North Africa nearly as large as Barbary lions. In 1913, an Algerian newspaper reported of a leopard killed that measured about 275 cm. To compare, male lions measure 266–311 cm from head to end of tail; the maximum weight of a leopard is about 96 kg, recorded in Southern Africa. It was matched by an Indian leopard killed in Himachal Pradesh in 2016. Melanistic leopards are called black panthers. Melanism in leopards is inherited as a recessive trait to the spotted form. Interbreeding in melanistic leopards produces a smaller litter size than is produced by normal pairings.
The black panther is common in the equatorial rainforest of the Malay Peninsula and the tropical rainforest on the slopes of some African mountains such as Mount Kenya. Between January 1996 and March 2009, Indochinese leopards were photographed at 16 sites in the Malay Peninsula in a sampling effort of more than 1,000 camera trap nights. Of the 445 photographs of melanistic leopards, 410 were taken in study sites south of the Kra Isthmus, where the non-melanistic morph was never photographed; these data indicate the near fixation of the dark allele in the region. The expected time for the fixation of this recessive allele due to genetic drift alone ranged from about 1,100 years to about 100,000 years. Pseudomelanist leopards have been reported. In India, nine pale and white leopards were reported between 1905 and 1967. Leopards exhibiting erythrism were recorded between 1990 and 2015 in South Africa's Madikwe Game Reserve and in Mpumalanga; the cause of this morph known as'strawberry' leopard or'pink panther', is not well understood.
Felis pardus was the scientific na
Panthera leo leo
Panthera leo leo is the nominate subspecies of the lion, present in West Africa, northern Central Africa and India today. In West and Central Africa, it is restricted to fragmented and isolated populations, most of them declining; the West African lion population is isolated with fewer than 250 mature individuals, therefore listed as Critically Endangered on the IUCN Red List. It is regionally extinct in North Africa, southern Europe, West Asia. India's sole lion population lives around Gir National Park. In 2005, a Lion Conservation Strategy was developed for Central Africa. Results of a phylogeographic study indicate that lion populations in West and Central African range countries are genetically close to populations in India, forming a clade distinct from lion populations in Southern and East Africa. In 2017, the Cat Classification Task Force of the IUCN Cat Specialist Group subsumed lion populations to two subspecies, namely P. l. leo and P. l. melanochaita. It has been referred to as'Northern lion'.
A lion from Constantine, Algeria was the type specimen for the specific name Felis leo used by Carl Linnaeus in 1758. In the 19th and 20th centuries, several lion zoological specimens from Africa and Asia were described and proposed as subspecies: Felis leo persicus described in 1826 by Johann N. Meyer was a lion skin from Persia. Felis leo senegalensis described by Meyer in 1826, but based on a lion skin from Senegal. Felis leo nubicus described in 1843 by Henri Marie Ducrotay de Blainville was a male lion from Nubia, sent by Antoine Clot from Cairo to Paris and died in the Ménagerie du Jardin des Plantes in 1841. Leo gambianus described in 1843 by John Edward Gray was a specimen from Gambia in the collection of the British Museum of Natural History. Felis leo kamptzi described in 1900 by Paul Matschie was a lion skull from northern Cameroon. Leo leo azandicus described in 1924 by Joel Asaph Allen was a male lion, killed in 1912 in northeastern Belgian Congo as part of a zoological collection comprising 588 carnivore specimens.
Allen admitted a close relationship of this lion specimen to Leo leo massaicus from Kenya regarding cranial and dental characteristics, but argued that his type specimen differed in pelage colouration. In 1930, Reginald Innes Pocock subordinated the lion to the genus Panthera when he wrote about Asiatic lion specimens in the zoological collection of the British Museum of Natural History. In the following decades, there has been much debate among zoologists on the validity of proposed subspecies: In 1939, Glover Morrill Allen recognized Felis leo kamptzi and F. l. azandicus as valid taxa among ten lion subspecies. Three decades John Ellerman and Terence Morrison-Scott recognized only two lion subspecies in the Palearctic realm, namely the African and Asiatic lions; some authors considered P. l. nubicus a valid subspecies and synonymous with P. l. massaica, a specimen from Kenya. Some authors considered P. l. azandicus synonymous with P. l. massaicus and P. l. somaliensis, P. l. kamptzi synonymous with P. l. senegalensis.
In 2005, Wallace Christopher Wozencraft recognized P. l. kamptzi, P. l. bleyenberghi and P. l. azandica as valid taxa. In 2016, IUCN Red List assessors used P. l. leo for all African lion populations. In 2017, the Cat Classification Task Force of the IUCN Cat Specialist Group subsumed lion populations in North and Central Africa and Asia to P. l. leo, based on results of genetic research on lion samples. Since the beginning of the 21st century, several phylogenetic studies were conducted to aid clarifying the taxonomic status of lion samples kept in museums and collected in the wild. Scientists analysed between 480 lion samples from up to 22 countries, they all agree that the lion species comprises two evolutionary groups, one in the northern and eastern parts of its historical range, the other in Southern and East Africa that diverged between 245,000 and 50,000 years ago. They assume that tropical rainforest and the East African Rift constituted major barriers between the two groups. In a comprehensive study about the evolution of lions, 357 samples of 11 lion populations were examined, including some hybrid lions.
The hybrids had descended from lions captured in Angola and Zimbabwe, West or Central Africa. Results indicated that four lions from Morocco did not exhibit any unique genetic characteristics and shared mitochondrial haplotypes H5 and H6 with lions from West Africa, together with them were part of a major mtDNA grouping that included Asiatic samples; this scenario was well in line with theories on lion evolution: lineage III developed in East Africa and traveled north and west in the first wave of lion expansions about 118,000 years ago. It broke up into haplotypes H5 and H6 within Africa, into H7 and H8 in West Asia. Results of genetic analyses indicate that lions in West Africa and northern parts of Central Africa form distinct lion clades, which are more related to North African and Asiatic lions than to lions in Southern Africa and East Africa. Lion samples from North Africa and India clustered into a single clade. Analysis of phylogenetic data of 194 lion samples from 22 countries revealed that Central and West African lions form a phylogeographic group that diverged about 186,000–128,000 years ago from the melanochaita group in East and Southern Africa.
Several lions kept in Ethiopia's Addis Ababa Zoo were found to be genetically similar to wild lions from Cameroon and Chad. The lion's fur varies in colour from light buff to dark brown, it has rounded a black tail tuft. Average head-to-body length of male lions is 2.47–2.84 m with a weight of 148.2–190.9 kg. Females are less heavy. A few lion specimens f
The Colosseum or Coliseum known as the Flavian Amphitheatre, is an oval amphitheatre in the centre of the city of Rome, Italy. Built of travertine and brick-faced concrete, it is the largest amphitheatre built; the Colosseum is situated just east of the Roman Forum. Construction began under the emperor Vespasian in AD 72 and was completed in AD 80 under his successor and heir, Titus. Further modifications were made during the reign of Domitian; these three emperors are known as the Flavian dynasty, the amphitheatre was named in Latin for its association with their family name. The Colosseum could hold, it is estimated, between 50,000 and 80,000 spectators, having an average audience of some 65,000; the building ceased to be used for entertainment in the early medieval era. It was reused for such purposes as housing, quarters for a religious order, a fortress, a quarry, a Christian shrine. Although ruined because of damage caused by earthquakes and stone-robbers, the Colosseum is still an iconic symbol of Imperial Rome and is listed as one of the New7Wonders of the World.
It is one of Rome's most popular tourist attractions and has links to the Roman Catholic Church, as each Good Friday the Pope leads a torchlit "Way of the Cross" procession that starts in the area around the Colosseum. The Colosseum is depicted on the Italian version of the five-cent euro coin; the Colosseum's original Latin name was Amphitheatrum Flavium anglicized as Flavian Amphitheatre, after Emperor Nero, whose statue once stood near its location. The building was constructed by emperors following the reign of Nero; this name is still used in modern English, but the structure is better known as the Colosseum. In antiquity, Romans may have referred to the Colosseum by the unofficial name Amphitheatrum Caesareum, but this name may have been poetic as it was not exclusive to the Colosseum; the name Colosseum is believed to be derived from a colossal statue of Nero nearby. This statue was remodeled by Nero's successors into the likeness of Helios or Apollo, the sun god, by adding the appropriate solar crown.
Nero's head was replaced several times with the heads of succeeding emperors. Despite its pagan links, the statue remained standing well into the medieval era and was credited with magical powers, it came to be seen as an iconic symbol of the permanence of Rome. In the 8th century, an epigram attributed to the Venerable Bede celebrated the symbolic significance of the statue in a prophecy, variously quoted: Quamdiu stat Colisæus, stat et Roma; this is mistranslated to refer to the Colosseum rather than the Colossus. However, at the time that the Pseudo-Bede wrote, the masculine noun coliseus was applied to the statue rather than to what was still known as the Flavian amphitheatre; the Colossus did fall being pulled down to reuse its bronze. By the year 1000 the name "Colosseum" had been coined to refer to the amphitheatre from the nearby Colossus Solis; the statue itself was forgotten and only its base survives, situated between the Colosseum and the nearby Temple of Venus and Roma. The name further evolved to Coliseum during the Middle Ages.
In Italy, the amphitheatre is still known as il Colosseo, other Romance languages have come to use similar forms such as Coloseumul, le Colisée, el Coliseo and o Coliseu. The site chosen was a flat area on the floor of a low valley between the Caelian and Palatine Hills, through which a canalised stream ran. By the 2nd century BC the area was densely inhabited, it was devastated by the Great Fire of Rome in AD 64, following which Nero seized much of the area to add to his personal domain. He built the grandiose Domus Aurea on the site, in front of which he created an artificial lake surrounded by pavilions and porticoes; the existing Aqua Claudia aqueduct was extended to supply water to the area and the gigantic bronze Colossus of Nero was set up nearby at the entrance to the Domus Aurea. Although the Colossus was preserved, much of the Domus Aurea was torn down; the lake was filled in and the land reused as the location for the new Flavian Amphitheatre. Gladiatorial schools and other support buildings were constructed nearby within the former grounds of the Domus Aurea.
Vespasian's decision to build the Colosseum on the site of Nero's lake can be seen as a populist gesture of returning to the people an area of the city which Nero had appropriated for his own use. In contrast to many other amphitheatres, which were located on the outskirts of a city, the Colosseum was constructed in the city centre, in effect, placing it both symbolically and at the heart of Rome. Construction was funded by the opulent spoils taken from the Jewish Temple after the Great Jewish Revolt in 70 AD led to the Siege of Jerusalem. According to a reconstructed inscription found on the sit
The aurochs known as urus or ure, is an extinct species of large wild cattle that inhabited Europe and North Africa. It is the ancestor of domestic cattle; the species survived in Europe until 1627, when the last recorded aurochs died in the Jaktorów Forest, Poland. During the Neolithic Revolution, which occurred during the early Holocene, at least two aurochs domestication events occurred: one related to the Indian subspecies, leading to zebu cattle, the other one related to the Eurasian subspecies, leading to taurine cattle. Other species of wild bovines were domesticated, namely the wild water buffalo, wild yak and banteng. In modern cattle, numerous breeds share characteristics of the aurochs, such as a dark colour in the bulls with a light eel stripe along the back, or a typical aurochs-like horn shape; the aurochs was variously classified as Bos primigenius, Bos taurus, or, in old sources, Bos urus. However, in 2003, the International Commission on Zoological Nomenclature "conserved the usage of 17 specific names based on wild species, which are predated by or contemporary with those based on domestic forms", confirming Bos primigenius for the aurochs.
Taxonomists who consider domesticated cattle a subspecies of the wild aurochs should use B. primigenius taurus. The words aurochs and wisent have all been used synonymously in English, but the extinct aurochs/urus is a separate species from the still-extant wisent known as European bison. The two were confused, some 16th-century illustrations of aurochs and wisents have hybrid features; the word urus was borrowed into Latin from Germanic. In German, OHG ūr was compounded with ohso "ox"; the modern form is Auerochse. The word aurochs was borrowed from early modern German, replacing archaic urochs from an earlier form of German; the word is invariable in number in English, though sometimes a back-formed singular auroch and/or innovated plural aurochses occur. The use in English of the plural form aurochsen is nonstandard, but mentioned in The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language, it is directly parallel to the German plural Ochsen and recreates by analogy the same distinction as English ox and oxen.
During the Pliocene, the colder climate caused an extension of open grassland, which led to the evolution of large grazers, such as wild bovines. Bos acutifrons is an extinct species of cattle, suggested as an ancestor for the aurochs; the oldest aurochs remains have been dated to about 2 million years ago, in India. The Indian subspecies was the first to appear. During the Pleistocene, the species migrated west into the Middle East, as well as to the east, they reached Europe about 270,000 years ago. The South Asian domestic cattle, or zebu, descended from Indian aurochs at the edge of the Thar Desert. Domestic yak and Bali cattle do not descend from aurochs; the first complete mitochondrial genome DNA sequence analysis of Bos primigenius from an archaeologically verified and exceptionally well preserved aurochs bone sample was published in 2010, followed by the publication in 2015 of the complete genome sequence of Bos primigenius using DNA isolated from a 6,750-year-old British aurochs bone.
Further studies using the Bos primigenius whole genome sequence have identified candidate microRNA-regulated domestication genesThree wild subspecies of aurochs are recognised. Only the Eurasian subspecies survived until recent times; the Eurasian aurochs once ranged across the steppes and taigas of Europe and Central Asia, East Asia. It is noted as part of the Pleistocene megafauna, declined in numbers along with other megafauna species by the end of Pleistocene; the Eurasian aurochs were domesticated into modern taurine cattle breeds around the sixth millennium BC in the Middle East, also at about the same time in the Far East. Aurochs were still widespread in Europe during the time of the Roman Empire, when they were popular as a battle beast in Roman arenas. Excessive hunting continued until the species was nearly extinct. By the 13th century, aurochs existed only in small numbers in Eastern Europe, the hunting of aurochs became a privilege of nobles, royal households; the aurochs were not saved from extinction, the last recorded live aurochs, a female, died in 1627 in the Jaktorów Forest, from natural causes.
Aurochs were found to have lived on the island of Sicily, having migrated via a land bridge from Italy. After the disappearance of the land bridge, Sicilian aurochs evolved to be 20% smaller than their mainland relatives due to insular dwarfism. Fossilized specimens were found in Japan herded with steppe bison; the Indian aurochs once inhabited India. It was the first subspecies of the aurochs to appear, at 2 million years ago, from about 9000 years ago, it was domesticated as the zebu. Fossil remains indicate wild Indian aurochs besides domesticated zebu cattle were in Gujarat and the Ganges area until about 4–5000 years ago. Remains from wild aurochs 4400 years old are identified from Karnataka in South India; the North African aurochs once lived in the woodland and shrubland of North Afri
Ancient Egypt was a civilization of ancient North Africa, concentrated along the lower reaches of the Nile River in the place, now the country Egypt. Ancient Egyptian civilization followed prehistoric Egypt and coalesced around 3100 BC with the political unification of Upper and Lower Egypt under Menes; the history of ancient Egypt occurred as a series of stable kingdoms, separated by periods of relative instability known as Intermediate Periods: the Old Kingdom of the Early Bronze Age, the Middle Kingdom of the Middle Bronze Age and the New Kingdom of the Late Bronze Age. Egypt reached the pinnacle of its power in the New Kingdom, ruling much of Nubia and a sizable portion of the Near East, after which it entered a period of slow decline. During the course of its history Egypt was invaded or conquered by a number of foreign powers, including the Hyksos, the Libyans, the Nubians, the Assyrians, the Achaemenid Persians, the Macedonians under the command of Alexander the Great; the Greek Ptolemaic Kingdom, formed in the aftermath of Alexander's death, ruled Egypt until 30 BC, under Cleopatra, it fell to the Roman Empire and became a Roman province.
The success of ancient Egyptian civilization came from its ability to adapt to the conditions of the Nile River valley for agriculture. The predictable flooding and controlled irrigation of the fertile valley produced surplus crops, which supported a more dense population, social development and culture. With resources to spare, the administration sponsored mineral exploitation of the valley and surrounding desert regions, the early development of an independent writing system, the organization of collective construction and agricultural projects, trade with surrounding regions, a military intended to assert Egyptian dominance. Motivating and organizing these activities was a bureaucracy of elite scribes, religious leaders, administrators under the control of a pharaoh, who ensured the cooperation and unity of the Egyptian people in the context of an elaborate system of religious beliefs; the many achievements of the ancient Egyptians include the quarrying and construction techniques that supported the building of monumental pyramids and obelisks.
Ancient Egypt has left a lasting legacy. Its art and architecture were copied, its antiquities carried off to far corners of the world, its monumental ruins have inspired the imaginations of writers for centuries. A new-found respect for antiquities and excavations in the early modern period by Europeans and Egyptians led to the scientific investigation of Egyptian civilization and a greater appreciation of its cultural legacy; the Nile has been the lifeline of its region for much of human history. The fertile floodplain of the Nile gave humans the opportunity to develop a settled agricultural economy and a more sophisticated, centralized society that became a cornerstone in the history of human civilization. Nomadic modern human hunter-gatherers began living in the Nile valley through the end of the Middle Pleistocene some 120,000 years ago. By the late Paleolithic period, the arid climate of Northern Africa became hot and dry, forcing the populations of the area to concentrate along the river region.
In Predynastic and Early Dynastic times, the Egyptian climate was much less arid. Large regions of Egypt were traversed by herds of grazing ungulates. Foliage and fauna were far more prolific in all environs and the Nile region supported large populations of waterfowl. Hunting would have been common for Egyptians, this is the period when many animals were first domesticated. By about 5500 BC, small tribes living in the Nile valley had developed into a series of cultures demonstrating firm control of agriculture and animal husbandry, identifiable by their pottery and personal items, such as combs and beads; the largest of these early cultures in upper Egypt was the Badari, which originated in the Western Desert. The Badari was followed by the Amratian and Gerzeh cultures, which brought a number of technological improvements; as early as the Naqada I Period, predynastic Egyptians imported obsidian from Ethiopia, used to shape blades and other objects from flakes. In Naqada II times, early evidence exists of contact with the Near East Canaan and the Byblos coast.
Over a period of about 1,000 years, the Naqada culture developed from a few small farming communities into a powerful civilization whose leaders were in complete control of the people and resources of the Nile valley. Establishing a power center at Nekhen, at Abydos, Naqada III leaders expanded their control of Egypt northwards along the Nile, they traded with Nubia to the south, the oases of the western desert to the west, the cultures of the eastern Mediterranean and Near East to the east, initiating a period of Egypt-Mesopotamia relations. The Naqada culture manufactured a diverse selection of material goods, reflective of the increasing power and wealth of the elite, as well as societal personal-use items, which included combs, small statuary, painted pottery, high quality decorative stone vases, cosmetic palettes, jewelry made of gold and ivory, they developed a ceramic glaze known as faience, used well into the Roman Per
Strabo was a Greek geographer and historian who lived in Asia Minor during the transitional period of the Roman Republic into the Roman Empire. Strabo was born to an affluent family from Amaseia in Pontus in around 64 BC, his family had been involved in politics since at least the reign of Mithridates V. Strabo was related to Dorylaeus on his mother's side. Several other family members, including his paternal grandfather had served Mithridates VI during the Mithridatic Wars; as the war drew to a close, Strabo's grandfather had turned several Pontic fortresses over to the Romans. Strabo wrote that "great promises were made in exchange for these services", as Persian culture endured in Amasia after Mithridates and Tigranes were defeated, scholars have speculated about how the family's support for Rome might have affected their position in the local community, whether they might have been granted Roman citizenship as a reward. Strabo's life was characterized by extensive travels, he journeyed to Egypt and Kush, as far west as coastal Tuscany and as far south as Ethiopia in addition to his travels in Asia Minor and the time he spent in Rome.
Travel throughout the Mediterranean and Near East for scholarly purposes, was popular during this era and was facilitated by the relative peace enjoyed throughout the reign of Augustus. He moved to Rome in 44 BC, stayed there and writing, until at least 31 BC. In 29 BC, on his way to Corinth, he visited the island of Gyaros in the Aegean Sea. Around 25 BC, he sailed up the Nile until reaching Philae, after which point there is little record of his proceedings until AD 17, it is not known when Strabo's Geography was written, though comments within the work itself place the finished version within the reign of Emperor Tiberius. Some place its first drafts around 7 BC, others around AD 17 or 18; the latest passage to which a date can be assigned is his reference to the death in AD 23 of Juba II, king of Maurousia, said to have died "just recently". He worked on the Geography for many years and revised it not always consistently, it is an encyclopaedical chronicle and consists of political, social, geographic description of whole Europe: British Isles, Iberian Peninsula, Germania, The Alps, Greece.
The Geography is the only extant work providing information about both Greek and Roman peoples and countries during the reign of Augustus. On the presumption that "recently" means within a year, Strabo stopped writing that year or the next, when he died, he was influenced by Homer and Aristotle. The first of Strabo's major works, Historical Sketches, written while he was in Rome, is nearly lost. Meant to cover the history of the known world from the conquest of Greece by the Romans, Strabo quotes it himself and other classical authors mention that it existed, although the only surviving document is a fragment of papyrus now in possession of the University of Milan. Strabo studied under several prominent teachers of various specialties throughout his early life at different stops along his Mediterranean travels, his first chapter of education took place in Nysa under the master of rhetoric Aristodemus, who had taught the sons of the same Roman general who had taken over Pontus. Aristodemus was the head of two schools of rhetoric and grammar, one in Nysa and one in Rhodes, the former of the two cities possessing a distinct intellectual curiosity of Homeric literature and the interpretation of epics.
Strabo was an admirer of Homer's poetry a consequence of his time spent in Nysa with Aristodemus. At around the age of 21, Strabo moved to Rome, where he studied philosophy with the Peripatetic Xenarchus, a respected tutor in Augustus's court. Despite Xenarchus's Aristotelian leanings, Strabo gives evidence to have formed his own Stoic inclinations. In Rome, he learned grammar under the rich and famous scholar Tyrannion of Amisus. Although Tyrannion was a Peripatetic, he was more relevantly a respected authority on geography, a fact significant, considering Strabo's future contributions to the field; the final noteworthy mentor to Strabo was Athenodorus Cananites, a philosopher who had spent his life since 44 BC in Rome forging relationships with the Roman elite. Athenodorus endowed to Strabo three important items: his philosophy, his knowledge, his contacts. Unlike the Aristotelian Xenarchus and Tyrannion who preceded him in teaching Strabo, Athenodorus was Stoic in mindset certainly the source of Strabo's diversion from the philosophy of his former mentors.
Moreover, from his own first-hand experience, Athenodorus provided Strabo with information about regions of the empire which he would not otherwise have known. Strabo is most notable for his work Geographica, which presented a descriptive history of people and places from different regions of the world known to his era. Although the Geographica was utilized in its contemporary antiquity, a multitude of copies survived throughout the Byzantine Empire, it first appeared in Western Europe in Rome as a Latin translation issued around 1469. The first Greek edition was published in 1516 in Venice. Isaac Casaubon, classical scholar and editor of Greek texts, provided the first critical edition in 1587. Although Strabo cited the antique Greek astronomers Eratosthenes and Hipparchus, acknowledging their astronomical and mathematical efforts towards geography, he claimed that