Friday, April 2, 2010

INVASION? What invasion?

There's a fascinating documentary series on television here in Australia called "The Human Journey." It shows how our Homo Sapian ancestors left Africa 70,000 years ago and slowly spread out all over the world. Each week it focuses on a group going on to populate a significant part of the globe. This week we saw how one branch of this exodus travelled as far afield as Siberia and down into present day China where they settled down to farm and make the first fired pottery about 10000 BC which started the growth of the Chinese culture and eventually an empire.

By 8000BC Neolithic settlements prospered in Egypt, Mesopotamia between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, and in other parts of the East. In 4000BC the site of Babylon was settled by the Sumerians who already had a written language 1000 years earlier. Even in Britain there are traces of farming by 3700BC. Amazingly Copper beads were being smelted in northern European communities as early as 6000BC from native metal. Everywhere you look societies were developing writing, growing crops, domesticating animals, building their temples, pyramids and homes; becoming civilized (advanced) societies and some grew to become empires.

Last week, it showed the trek of Home Sapians following the coastline from Saudi Arabia, along India and hopping along the Asian islands using the benefit of ice age caused low sea-levels and than at 50,000 years ago to go on to populate the continent of Australia. After that nothing of any consequence happened! Unfortunately, that has led to a number of learned anthropologists over the years to call these people a dead-end race.

When January 26th comes around each year marking the First Fleet's arrival at Botany Bay (near Sydney) from England in 1788, Aboriginal representatives get on TV and a denounce this arrival as an "invasion" trying to generate sympathy for this statement. WHAT INVASION??? It's nonsense. There was nothing to see, except a bunch of "pitifully clothed" natives (as one Englishman described them). There was not a sign of civilized accomplishment anywhere. They WASTED 50,000 years on this continent while the rest of the world and it's people moved on!

As populations around the world improved in their scientific, architectural and artistic endeavors our Australian natives stayed as Hunter-Gathers, wandering aimlessly around ignoring the potential of a richer lifestyle. Their great scientific achievement was the Boomerang not the wheel (3800BC in Sumeria). Their architecture was non-existent aside from the Humpy (a stick & grass hut). And their agriculture amounted to opportunistic scavenging of nuts, berries and seasonal fruit and no pottery for storage. Cave and cliff art never got passed it's basic themes.

The way I see it....once the Aboriginals "sussed-out" these better-dressed and advanced visitors to Australia's shores, they should have had the good sense to welcome them with open arms and say "you folks can do us a big favour and help us CATCH UP with the rest of the world's Homo Sapians." It's hard to imagine, now that scientists tell us, that the DNA of everyone on this planet is related to a female that left Africa all those 70,000 years ago, that one part of our earthly family didn't have the incentive to make the effort to improve their lot.

Maybe....just maybe, after reading this, our indigenous citizens might say "THANK YOU" at the next Australia Day celebrations now that our Prime Minister already said "Sorry" to them as past efforts to help them weren't appreciated.

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