Paganism, is a term first used in the fourth century by early Christians for people in the Roman Empire who practiced polytheism. This was either because they were rural and provincial relative to the Christian population, or because they were not milites Christi. Alternate terms in Christian texts for the same group were hellene and heathen. Ritual sacrifice was an integral part of ancient Graeco-Roman religion and was regarded as an indication of whether a person was pagan or Christian. Paganism was a pejorative and derogatory term for polytheism, implying its inferiority. Paganism has broadly connoted the "religion of the peasantry", During and after the Middle Ages, the term paganism was applied to any non-Abrahamic or unfamiliar religion, the term presumed a belief in false god. Most modern pagan religions existing today - Modern Paganism, or Neopaganism - express a world view, pantheistic, polytheistic or animistic; the origin of the application of the term pagan to polytheism is debated.
In the 19th century, paganism was adopted as a self-descriptor by members of various artistic groups inspired by the ancient world. In the 20th century, it came to be applied as a self-descriptor by practitioners of Modern Paganism, Neopagan movements and Polytheistic reconstructionists. Modern pagan traditions incorporate beliefs or practices, such as nature worship, that are different from those in the largest world religions. Contemporary knowledge of old pagan religions comes from several sources, including anthropological field research records, the evidence of archaeological artifacts, the historical accounts of ancient writers regarding cultures known to Classical antiquity, it is crucial to stress right from the start that until the 20th century, people did not call themselves pagans to describe the religion they practised. The notion of paganism, as it is understood today, was created by the early Christian Church, it was a label that Christians applied to others, one of the antitheses that were central to the process of Christian self-definition.
As such, throughout history it was used in a derogatory sense. The term pagan is derived from Late Latin paganus, revived during the Renaissance. Itself deriving from classical Latin pagus which meant'region delimited by markers', paganus had come to mean'of or relating to the countryside','country dweller','villager', it is related to pangere and comes from Proto-Indo-European *pag-. The adoption of paganus by the Latin Christians as an all-embracing, pejorative term for polytheists represents an unforeseen and singularly long-lasting victory, within a religious group, of a word of Latin slang devoid of religious meaning; the evolution occurred only in the Latin west, in connection with the Latin church. Elsewhere, Hellene or gentile remained the word for pagan. Medieval writers assumed that paganus as a religious term was a result of the conversion patterns during the Christianization of Europe, where people in towns and cities were converted more than those in remote regions, where old ways lingered.
However, this idea has multiple problems. First, the word's usage as a reference to non-Christians pre-dates that period in history. Second, paganism within the Roman Empire centred on cities; the concept of an urban Christianity as opposed to a rural paganism would not have occurred to Romans during Early Christianity. Third, unlike words such as rusticitas, paganus had not yet acquired the meanings used to explain why it would have been applied to pagans. Paganus more acquired its meaning in Christian nomenclature via Roman military jargon. Early Christians saw themselves as Milites Christi. A good example of Christians still using paganus in a military context rather than religious is in Tertullian's De Corona Militis XI. V, where the Christian is referred to as paganus: Paganus acquired its religious connotations by the mid-4th century; as early as the 5th century, paganos was metaphorically used to denote persons outside the bounds of the Christian community. Following the sack of Rome by the Visigoths just over fifteen years after the Christian persecution of paganism under Theodosius I, murmurs began to spread that the old gods had taken greater care of the city than the Christian God.
In response, Augustine of Hippo wrote De Civitate Dei Contra Paganos. In it, he contrasted the fallen "city of Man" to the "city of God" of which all Christians were citizens. Hence, the foreign invaders were "not of the city" or "rural"; the term pagan is not attested in the English language until the 17th century. In addition to infidel and heretic, it was used as one of several pejorative Christian counterparts to gentile as used in Judaism, to kafir and mushrik as in Islam. In the Latin-speaking Western Roman Empire of the newly Christianizing Roman Empire, Koine Greek became associated with the traditional polytheistic religion of Ancient Greece, regarded as a foreign language in the west. By the latter half of the 4th century in the Greek-speaking Eastern Empire, pagans were—paradoxically—most called Hellenes; the word entirely
Axum or Aksum is the site of the historic capital of the Kingdom of Aksum. It is now a tourist town with a population of 66,800 residents; the Kingdom of Axum was a naval and trading power that ruled the region from about 400 BCE into the 10th century. In 1980, UNESCO added Axum's archaeological sites to its list of World Heritage Sites due to their historic value. Axum is located near the base of the Adwa mountains, it is surrounded by La'ilay Maychew district. Axum was the centre of the marine trading power known as the Aksumite Kingdom, which predated the earliest mentions in Roman-era writings. Around 356 CE, its ruler was converted to Christianity by Frumentius. Under the reign of Kaleb, Axum was a quasi-ally of Byzantium against the Sasanian Empire which had adopted Zoroastrianism; the historical record is unclear, with ancient church records the primary contemporary sources. It is believed it began a long and slow decline after the seventh century due to the Persians and the Arabs contesting old Red Sea trade routes.
Aksum was cut off from its principal markets in Alexandria and Southern Europe and its trade share was captured by Arab traders of the era. The Kingdom of Aksum was destroyed by Empress Gudit, some of the people of Aksum were forced south and their old way of life declined; as the kingdom's power declined so did the influence of the city, believed to have lost population in the decline, similar to Rome and other cities thrust away from the flow of world events. The last known king to reign was crowned in about the 10th century, but the kingdom's influence and power ended long before that, its decline in population and trade contributed to the shift of the power center of the Ethiopian Empire south to the Agaw region as it moved further inland. The city of Axum was the administrative seat of an empire spanning one million square miles; the alternative name was adopted by the central region, subsequently, the present modern state. The Kingdom of Aksum had its own written language, Ge'ez, developed a distinctive architecture exemplified by giant obelisks, the oldest of which date from 5000–2000 BCE.
The kingdom was at its height under King Ezana, baptized as Abreha, in the 4th century. The Ethiopian Orthodox Tewahedo Church claims that the Church of Our Lady Mary of Zion in Axum houses the Biblical Ark of the Covenant, in which lie the Tablets of Stone upon which the Ten Commandments are inscribed. Ethiopian traditions suggest that it was from Axum that Makeda, the Queen of Sheba, journeyed to visit King Solomon in Jerusalem and that the two had a son, who grew up in Ethiopia but traveled to Jerusalem as a young man to visit his father's homeland, he lived several years in Jerusalem before returning to his country with the Ark of the Covenant. According to the Ethiopian Church and Ethiopian tradition, the Ark still exists in Axum; this same church was the site where Ethiopian emperors were crowned for centuries until the reign of Fasilides again beginning with Yohannes IV until the end of the empire. Axum is considered to be the holiest city in Ethiopia and is an important destination of pilgrimages.
Significant religious festivals are the Timkat festival on 19 January and the Festival of Maryam Zion on November 24. In 1937, a 24-metre tall, 1,700-year-old Obelisk of Axum, broken into five parts and lying on the ground, was found and shipped by Italian soldiers to Rome to be erected; the obelisk is regarded as one of the finest examples of engineering from the height of the Axumite empire. Despite a 1947 United Nations agreement that the obelisk would be shipped back, Italy balked, resulting in a long-standing diplomatic dispute with the Ethiopian government, which views the obelisk as a symbol of national identity. In April 2005, Italy returned the obelisk pieces to Axum amidst much official and public rejoicing. UNESCO assumed responsibility for the re-installation of this stele in Axum, by the end of July 2008 the obelisk had been reinstalled, it was unveiled on 4 September 2008. The Kingdom of Aksum has a longstanding relationship with Islam. According to ibn Hisham, when Muhammad faced oppression from the Quraysh clan, he sent a small group that included his daughter Ruqayya and her husband Uthman to Axum.
Sahama, the Aksumite king, gave them protection. He refused the requests of the Quraish clan to send these refugees back to Arabia; these refugees did not return until the sixth Hijri year, then many remained in Ethiopia settling at Negash in what is now the Mibraqawi Zone. There are different traditions concerning the effect; the Muslim tradition is that the ruler of Axum was so impressed by these refugees that he became a secret convert. On the other hand, Arabic historians and Ethiopian tradition state that some of the Muslim refugees who lived in Ethiopia during this time converted to Orthodox Christianity. There is a second Ethiopian tradition that, on the death of Ashama ibn Abjar, Muhammed is reported to have prayed for the king's soul, told his followers, "Leave the Abyssinians in peace, as long as they do not take the offensive." The major Aksumite monuments in the town are steles. These obelisks are around 1,700 years old and have become a symbol of the Ethiopian people's identity; the largest number ar
A window is an opening in a wall, roof or vehicle that allows the passage of light and air. Modern windows are glazed or covered in some other transparent or translucent material, a sash set in a frame in the opening. Many glazed windows closed, to exclude inclement weather. Windows have a latch or similar mechanism to lock the window shut or to hold it open by various amounts. Types include the eyebrow window, fixed windows, single-hung and double-hung sash windows, horizontal sliding sash windows, casement windows, awning windows, hopper windows and slide windows and turn windows, transom windows, sidelight windows, jalousie or louvered windows, clerestory windows, roof windows, roof lanterns, bay windows, oriel windows, thermal, or Diocletian, picture windows, emergency exit windows, stained glass windows, French windows, panel windows, double - and triple paned windows; the Romans were the first known to use glass for windows, a technology first produced in Roman Egypt, in Alexandria ca. 100 AD.
Paper windows were economical and used in ancient China and Japan. In England, glass became common in the windows of ordinary homes only in the early 17th century whereas windows made up of panes of flattened animal horn were used as early as the 14th century. In the 19th century American west, greased paper windows came to be used by itinerant groups. Modern-style floor-to-ceiling windows became possible only after the industrial plate glass making processes were perfected; the English language-word window originates from the Old Norse'vindauga', from'vindr – wind' and'auga – eye', i.e. wind eye. In Norwegian Nynorsk and Icelandic the Old Norse form has survived to this day, in Swedish the word vindöga remains as a term for a hole through the roof of a hut, in the Danish language'vindue' and Norwegian Bokmål'vindu', the direct link to'eye' is lost, just like for'window'; the Danish word is pronounced similarly to window. Window is first recorded in the early 13th century, referred to an unglazed hole in a roof.
Window replaced the Old English eagþyrl, which means'eye-hole,' and'eagduru"eye-door'. Many Germanic languages however adopted the Latin word'fenestra' to describe a window with glass, such as standard Swedish'fönster', or German'Fenster'; the use of window in English is because of the Scandinavian influence on the English language by means of loanwords during the Viking Age. In English the word fenester was used as a parallel until the mid-18th century. Fenestration is still used to describe the arrangement of windows within a façade, as well as defenestration, meaning to throw something out of a window. In the 13th century BC, the earliest windows were unglazed openings in a roof to admit light during the day. Windows were covered with animal hide, cloth, or wood. Shutters that could be opened and closed came next. Over time, windows were built that both protected the inhabitants from the elements and transmitted light, using multiple small pieces of translucent material, such as flattened pieces of translucent animal horn, thin slices of marble, for example fengite, or pieces of glass, set in frameworks of wood, iron or lead.
In the Far East, paper was used to fill windows. The Romans were the first known to use glass for windows, a technology first produced in Roman Egypt. Namely, in Alexandria ca. 100 AD cast glass windows, albeit with poor optical properties, began to appear, but these were small thick productions, little more than blown glass jars flattened out into sheets with circular striation patterns throughout. It would be over a millennium before a window glass became transparent enough to see through as we think of it now. Over the centuries techniques were developed to shear through one side of a blown glass cylinder and produce thinner rectangular window panes from the same amount of glass material; this gave rise to tall narrow windows separated by a vertical support called a mullion. Mullioned glass windows were the windows of choice among European well-to-do, whereas paper windows were economical and used in ancient China and Japan. In England, glass became common in the windows of ordinary homes only in the early 17th century whereas windows made up of panes of flattened animal horn were used as early as the 14th century.
Modern-style floor-to-ceiling windows became possible only after the industrial plate glass making processes were perfected. Modern windows are filled with glass, although a few are transparent plastic. A cross-window is a rectangular window divided into four lights by a mullion and transom that form a Latin cross; the term eyebrow window is used in an eyebrow dormer. A fixed window is a window that cannot be opened, whose function is limited to allowing light to enter. Clerestory windows in church architecture are fixed. Transom windows may be operable; this type of window is used in situations where light or vision alone is needed as no ventilation is possible in such windows without the use of trickle vents or overglass vents. A single-hung sash window is a window that has one sash, movable and the other fixed; this is the earlier form of sliding sash window, is cheaper. A sash window is t
The Circus Maximus is an ancient Roman chariot-racing stadium and mass entertainment venue located in Rome, Italy. Situated in the valley between the Aventine and Palatine Hills, it was the first and largest stadium in ancient Rome and its Empire, it could accommodate over 150,000 spectators. In its developed form, it became the model for circuses throughout the Roman Empire; the site is now a public park. The Circus was Rome's largest venue for public games connected to Roman religious festivals. Ludi were sponsored by leading Romans or the Roman state for the benefit of the Roman people and gods. Most were held annually or at annual intervals on the Roman calendar. Others might be given to fulfill a religious vow, such as the games in celebration of a triumph. In Roman tradition, the earliest triumphal ludi at the Circus were vowed by Tarquin the Proud to Jupiter in the late Regal era for his victory over Pometia. Ludi ranged in duration and scope from one-day or half-day events to spectacular multi-venue celebrations held over several days, with religious ceremonies and public feasts and chariot racing, athletics and recitals, beast-hunts and gladiator fights.
Some included public executions. The greater ludi at the Circus began with a flamboyant parade, much like the triumphal procession, which marked the purpose of the games and introduced the participants. During Rome's Republican era, the aediles organised the games; the most costly and complex of the ludi offered opportunities to assess an aedile's competence and fitness for higher office. Some Circus events, seem to have been small and intimate affairs. In 167 BC, "flute players, scenic artists and dancers" performed on a temporary stage erected between the two central seating banks. Others were enlarged at enormous expense to fit the entire space. A venatio held there in 169 BC, one of several in the 2nd century, employed "63 leopards and 40 bears and elephants", with spectators kept safe by a substantial barrier; as Rome's provinces expanded, existing ludi were embellished and new ludi invented by politicians who competed for divine and popular support. By the late Republic, ludi were held on 57 days of the year.
On many other days and jockeys would need to practice on its track. Otherwise, it would have made a convenient corral for the animals traded in the nearby cattle market, just outside the starting gate. Beneath the outer stands, next to the Circus' multiple entrances, were workshops and shops; when no games were being held, the Circus at the time of Catullus was "a dusty open space with shops and booths... a colourful crowded disreputable area" frequented by "prostitutes, fortune tellers and low-class performing artists." Rome's emperors met the ever-burgeoning popular demand for regular ludi and the need for more specialised venues, as essential obligations of their office and cult. Over the several centuries of its development, the Circus Maximus became Rome's paramount specialist venue for chariot races. By the late 1st century AD, the Colosseum had been built to host most of the city's gladiator shows and smaller beast-hunts, most track-athletes competed at the purpose-designed Stadium of Domitian, though long-distance foot races were still held at the Circus.
135 days of the year were devoted to ludi. At the height of its development as a chariot-racing circuit, the circus remained the most suitable space in Rome for religious processions on a grand scale, was the most popular venue for large-scale venationes. With the advent of Christianity as the official religion of the Empire, ludi fell out of favour; the last known beast-hunt at the Circus Maximus took place in 523, the last known races there were held by Totila in 549. The Circus Maximus was sited on the level ground of the Valley of Murcia, between Rome's Aventine and Palatine Hills. In Rome's early days, the valley would have been rich agricultural land, prone to flooding from the river Tiber and the stream which divided the valley; the stream was bridged at an early date, at the two points where the track had to cross it, the earliest races would have been held within an agricultural landscape, "with nothing more than turning posts, banks where spectators could sit, some shrines and sacred spots".
In Livy's history of Rome, the first Etruscan king of Rome Lucius Tarquinius Priscus built raised, wooden perimeter seating at the Circus for Rome's highest echelons midway along the Palatine straight, with an awning against the sun and rain. His grandson, Tarquinius Superbus, added the first seating for citizen-commoners, either adjacent or on the opposite, Aventine side of the track. Otherwise, the Circus was still little more than a trackway through surrounding farmland. By this time, it may have been drained but the wooden stands and seats would have rotted and been rebuilt; the turning posts, each made of three conical stone pillars, may have been the earliest permanent Circus structures. The games' sponsor sat beside the images of attending gods, on a conspicuous, elevated stand but seats at the track's perimeter offered the best, most dramatic clo
An obelisk is a tall, four-sided, narrow tapering monument which ends in a pyramid-like shape or pyramidion at the top. These were called tekhenu by their builders, the Ancient Egyptians; the Greeks who saw them used the Greek term'obeliskos' to describe them, this word passed into Latin and English. Ancient obelisks are monolithic. Most modern obelisks are made of several stones; the term stele is used for other monumental, upright and sculpted stones. Obelisks played a vital role in their religion and were prominent in the architecture of the ancient Egyptians, who placed them in pairs at the entrance of the temples; the word "obelisk" as used in English today is of Greek rather than Egyptian origin because Herodotus, the Greek traveller, was one of the first classical writers to describe the objects. A number of ancient Egyptian obelisks are known to have survived, plus the "Unfinished Obelisk" found hewn from its quarry at Aswan; these obelisks are now dispersed around the world, fewer than half of them remain in Egypt.
The earliest temple obelisk still in its original position is the 68-foot 120-metric-ton red granite Obelisk of Senusret I of the XIIth Dynasty at Al-Matariyyah in modern Heliopolis. The obelisk symbolized the sun god Ra, during the religious reformation of Akhenaten it was said to have been a petrified ray of the Aten, the sundisk, it was thought that the god existed within the structure. Benben was the mound that arose from the primordial waters Nu upon which the creator god Atum settled in the creation story of the Heliopolitan creation myth form of Ancient Egyptian religion; the Benben stone is the top stone of the Egyptian pyramid. It is related to the Obelisk, it is hypothesized by New York University Egyptologist Patricia Blackwell Gary and Astronomy senior editor Richard Talcott that the shapes of the ancient Egyptian pyramid and obelisk were derived from natural phenomena associated with the sun. The pyramid and obelisk's significance have been overlooked the astronomical phenomena connected with sunrise and sunset: the zodiacal light and sun pillars respectively.
Around 30 B. C. after Cleopatra "the last Pharaoh" committed suicide, Rome took control of Egypt. The Ancient Romans were awestruck by the obelisks, looted the complex to the extent that they destroyed walls at the Temple of Karnak to haul out obelisks. There are now more than twice as many obelisks that were seized and shipped out by Rome as remain in Egypt. A majority were dismantled during the Roman period over 1, 700 years ago and the obelisk were sent in different locations; the largest standing and tallest Egyptian obelisk is the Lateran Obelisk in the square at the west side of the Lateran Basilica in Rome at 105.6 feet tall and a weight of 455 metric tons. Not all the Egyptian obelisks in the Roman Empire were set up at Rome. Herod the Great imitated his Roman patrons and set up a red granite Egyptian obelisk in the hippodrome of his new city Caesarea in northern Judea; this one weighs about 100 metric tons. It has been re-erected at its former site. In 335 A. D. Constantine I ordered the removal of two of Karnak's obelisks.
One was sent to Constantinople, the Eastern Emperor Theodosius took the obelisk and had it set up in a hippodrome, where it has weathered Crusaders and Seljuks and stands in the Hippodrome square, now called Istanbul. This one stood 95 feet tall and weighing 380 metric tons, its lower half reputedly once stood in Istanbul but is now lost. The Istanbul obelisk is 65 feet tall; the other was transported to Rome and is the most well-known 25 metres, 331-metric-ton obelisk at Saint Peter's Square in the world. The obelisk had stood since AD 37 on its site and on the wall of the Circus of Nero, flanking St Peter's Basilica: "The elder Pliny in his Natural History refers to the obelisk's transportation from Egypt to Rome by order of the Emperor Gaius as an outstanding event; the barge that carried it had a huge mast of fir wood. One hundred and twenty bushels of lentils were needed for ballast. Having fulfilled its purpose, the gigantic vessel was no longer wanted. Therefore, filled with stones and cement, it was sunk to form the foundations of the foremost quay of the new harbour at Ostia."Re-erecting the obelisk had daunted Michelangelo, but Sixtus V was determined to erect it in front of St Peter's, of which the nave was yet to be built.
He had a full-sized wooden mock-up erected within months of his election. Domenico Fontana, the assistant of Giacomo Della Porta in the Basilica's construction, presented the Pope with a little model crane of wood and a heavy little obelisk of lead, which Sixtus himself was able to raise by turning a little winch with his finger. Fontana was given the project; the obelisk, half-buried in the debris of the ages, was first excavated. The re-erection, scheduled for 14 September, the Feast of the Exaltation of the Cross, was watched by a large crowd, it was a famous feat of engineering, which made the reputation of Fontana, who detailed it in a book illustrated with copperplate etchings, Della Trasportatione dell'Obelisco Vaticano et delle Fabriche di Nostro Sig
Eritrea the State of Eritrea, is a country in the Horn of Africa, with its capital at Asmara. It is bordered by Sudan in the west, Ethiopia in the south, Djibouti in the southeast; the northeastern and eastern parts of Eritrea have an extensive coastline along the Red Sea. The nation has a total area of 117,600 km2, includes the Dahlak Archipelago and several of the Hanish Islands, its toponym Eritrea is based on the Greek name for the Red Sea, first adopted for Italian Eritrea in 1890. Eritrea is a multi-ethnic country, with nine recognized ethnic groups in its population of around 5 million. Most residents speak languages from the Afroasiatic family, either of the Ethiopian Semitic languages or Cushitic branches. Among these communities, the Tigrinyas make up about 55% of the population, with the Tigre people constituting around 30% of inhabitants. In addition, there are a number of Nilo-Saharan-speaking Nilotic ethnic minorities. Most people in the territory adhere to Islam; the Kingdom of Aksum, covering much of modern-day Eritrea and northern Ethiopia, was established during the first or second centuries AD.
It adopted Christianity around the middle of the fourth century. In medieval times much of Eritrea fell under the Medri Bahri kingdom, with a smaller region being part of Hamasien; the creation of modern-day Eritrea is a result of the incorporation of independent, distinct kingdoms and sultanates resulting in the formation of Italian Eritrea. After the defeat of the Italian colonial army in 1942, Eritrea was administered by the British Military Administration until 1952. Following the UN General Assembly decision, in 1952, Eritrea would govern itself with a local Eritrean parliament but for foreign affairs and defense it would enter into a federal status with Ethiopia for a period of 10 years. However, in 1962 the government of Ethiopia annulled the Eritrean parliament and formally annexed Eritrea, but the Eritreans that argued for complete Eritrean independence since the ouster of the Italians in 1941, anticipated what was coming and in 1960 organized the Eritrean Liberation Front in opposition.
In 1991, after 30 years of continuous armed struggle for independence, the Eritrean liberation fighters entered the capital city, Asmara, in victory. Eritrea is a one-party state in which national legislative elections have never been held since independence. According to Human Rights Watch, the Eritrean government's human rights record is among the worst in the world; the Eritrean government has dismissed these allegations as politically motivated. The compulsory military service requires long, indefinite conscription periods, which some Eritreans leave the country to avoid; because all local media is state-owned, Eritrea was ranked as having the second-least press freedom in the global Press Freedom Index, behind only North Korea. The sovereign state of Eritrea is a member of the African Union, the United Nations, the Intergovernmental Authority on Development, is an observer in the Arab League alongside Brazil, Venezuela and Turkey; the name Eritrea is derived from the ancient Greek name for the Red Sea.
It was first formally adopted with the formation of Italian Eritrea. The name persisted over the course of subsequent British and Ethiopian occupation, was reaffirmed by the 1993 independence referendum and 1997 constitution. At Buya in Eritrea, one of the oldest hominids representing a possible link between Homo erectus and an archaic Homo sapiens was found by Italian scientists. Dated to over 1 million years old, it is the oldest skeletal find of its kind and provides a link between hominids and the earliest anatomically modern humans, it is believed that the section of the Danakil Depression in Eritrea was a major player in terms of human evolution, may contain other traces of evolution from Homo erectus hominids to anatomically modern humans. During the last interglacial period, the Red Sea coast of Eritrea was occupied by early anatomically modern humans, it is believed that the area was on the route out of Africa that some scholars suggest was used by early humans to colonize the rest of the Old World.
In 1999, the Eritrean Research Project Team composed of Eritrean, American and French scientists discovered a Paleolithic site with stone and obsidian tools dated to over 125,000 years old near the Bay of Zula south of Massawa, along the Red Sea littoral. The tools are believed to have been used by early humans to harvest marine resources such as clams and oysters. According to linguists, the first Afroasiatic-speaking populations arrived in the region during the ensuing Neolithic era from the family's proposed urheimat in the Nile Valley. Other scholars propose that the Afroasiatic family developed in situ in the Horn, with its speakers subsequently dispersing from there. Together with Djibouti, northern Somalia, the Red Sea coast of Sudan, Eritrea is considered the most location of the land which the ancient Egyptians called Punt, first mentioned in the 25th century BC; the ancient Puntites had close relations with Ancient Egypt during the rule of Pharaoh Sahure and Queen Hatshepsut. This is confirmed by genetic studies of mummified baboons.
In 2010, a study was conducted on baboon mummies that were brought from Punt to Egypt as gifts by the ancient Egyptians. The scientists from the Egyptian Museum and the University of California used oxygen isotope analysis to examine hairs from two baboon mummies, preserved in the British Museum. One of the baboons had distorted isotopic data, so t
A thunderstorm known as an electrical storm or a lightning storm, is a storm characterized by the presence of lightning and its acoustic effect on the Earth's atmosphere, known as thunder. Weak thunderstorms are sometimes called thundershowers. Thunderstorms occur in a type of cloud known as a cumulonimbus, they are accompanied by strong winds, produce heavy rain and sometimes snow, sleet, or hail, but some thunderstorms produce little precipitation or no precipitation at all. Thunderstorms may become a rainband, known as a squall line. Strong or severe thunderstorms include some of the most dangerous weather phenomena, including large hail, strong winds, tornadoes; some of the most persistent severe thunderstorms, known as supercells, rotate as do cyclones. While most thunderstorms move with the mean wind flow through the layer of the troposphere that they occupy, vertical wind shear sometimes causes a deviation in their course at a right angle to the wind shear direction. Thunderstorms result from the rapid upward movement of moist air, sometimes along a front.
As the warm, moist air moves upward, it cools and forms a cumulonimbus cloud that can reach heights of over 20 kilometres. As the rising air reaches its dew point temperature, water vapor condenses into water droplets or ice, reducing pressure locally within the thunderstorm cell. Any precipitation falls the long distance through the clouds towards the Earth's surface; as the droplets fall, they become larger. The falling droplets create a downdraft as it pulls cold air with it, this cold air spreads out at the Earth's surface causing strong winds that are associated with thunderstorms. Thunderstorms can form and develop in any geographic location but most within the mid-latitude, where warm, moist air from tropical latitudes collides with cooler air from polar latitudes. Thunderstorms are responsible for the formation of many severe weather phenomena. Thunderstorms, the phenomena that occur along with them, pose great hazards. Damage that results from thunderstorms is inflicted by downburst winds, large hailstones, flash flooding caused by heavy precipitation.
Stronger thunderstorm cells are capable of producing waterspouts. There are four types of thunderstorms: single-cell, multi-cell cluster, multi-cell lines and supercells. Supercell thunderstorms are the most severe. Mesoscale convective systems formed by favorable vertical wind shear within the tropics and subtropics can be responsible for the development of hurricanes. Dry thunderstorms, with no precipitation, can cause the outbreak of wildfires from the heat generated from the cloud-to-ground lightning that accompanies them. Several means are used to study thunderstorms: weather radar, weather stations, video photography. Past civilizations held various myths concerning thunderstorms and their development as late as the 18th century. Beyond the Earth's atmosphere, thunderstorms have been observed on the planets of Jupiter, Saturn and Venus. Warm air has a lower density than cool air, so warmer air rises upwards and cooler air will settle at the bottom. Clouds form as warmer air, carrying moisture, rises within cooler air.
The moist air rises, and, as it does so, it cools and some of the water vapor in that rising air condenses. When the moisture condenses, it releases energy known as latent heat of condensation, which allows the rising packet of air to cool less than the cooler surrounding air continuing the cloud's ascension. If enough instability is present in the atmosphere, this process will continue long enough for cumulonimbus clouds to form and produce lightning and thunder. Meteorological indices such as convective available potential energy and the lifted index can be used to assist in determining potential upward vertical development of clouds. Thunderstorms require three conditions to form: Moisture An unstable airmass A lifting force All thunderstorms, regardless of type, go through three stages: the developing stage, the mature stage, the dissipation stage; the average thunderstorm has a 24 km diameter. Depending on the conditions present in the atmosphere, each of these three stages take an average of 30 minutes.
The first stage of a thunderstorm is developing stage. During this stage, masses of moisture are lifted upwards into the atmosphere; the trigger for this lift can be solar illumination, where the heating of the ground produces thermals, or where two winds converge forcing air upwards, or where winds blow over terrain of increasing elevation. The moisture carried upward cools into liquid drops of water due to lower temperatures at high altitude, which appear as cumulus clouds; as the water vapor condenses into liquid, latent heat is released, which warms the air, causing it to become less dense than the surrounding, drier air. The air tends to rise in an updraft through the process of convection; this process creates a low-pressure zone beneath the forming thunderstorm. In a typical thunderstorm 500 million kilograms of water vapor are lifted into the Earth's atmosphere. In the mature stage of a thunderstorm, the warmed air continues to rise until it reaches an area of warmer air and can rise no farther.
This'cap' is the tropopause. The air is instead forced to spread out; the resulting cloud is called cumulonimbus incus. The water droplets coalesce into heavier droplets and freeze to become ice particles; as these fall, they melt to become rain. If the updraft