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  • Top 10 Civilizations That Mysteriously Disappeared

  • Throughout our history, most civilizations have either met a slow demise or were wiped

  • out by natural disasters or invasion. But there are a few societies whose disappearance

  • has scholars truly stumped:

  • 10. The Olmec

  • One of the first Mesoamerican societies, the Olmec inhabited the tropical lowlands of south-central

  • Mexico. The first signs of the Olmec are around 1400 BC in the city of San Lorenzo, the main

  • Olmec settlement which was supported by two other centers, Tenochtitlan and Potrero Nuevo.

  • The Olmec were master builders with each of the major sites containing ceremonial courts,

  • house mounds, large conical pyramids and stone monuments including the colossal head that

  • they are most known for.1 The Olmec civilization relied heavily on trade, both between different

  • Olmec regions and with other Mesoamerican societies. Because they were one of the earliest

  • and most advanced Mesoamerican cultures at the time, they are often considered the mother

  • culture of many other Mesoamerican cultures.

  • Where did they go?

  • Around 400 BC the eastern half of the Olmec’s lands was depopulated- possibly due to environmental

  • changes. They may have also relocated after volcanic activity in the area. Another popular

  • theory is that they were invaded, but no one knows whom the invaders might be.

  • 9. The Nabateans

  • The Nabateans were a Semitic culture that inhabited parts of Jordan, Canaan and Arabia

  • from around the sixth century BC. They are most widely known as the builders of the city

  • of Petra, which served as their capital. Petra is an impressive city carved out of the cliff

  • side with the crown jewel being the Khazneh, or Treasury, a giant Greek inspired building.

  • The Nabateanswealth was gained by being a major stop on a complex trading network,

  • through which they traded ivory, silk, spices, precious metals, gems, incense, sugar perfume

  • and medicine. Because of the extent of the trade route, the Nabatean culture was highly

  • influenced by Hellenistic Greece, Rome, Arabia and Assyria. Unlike other societies of their

  • time, there was no slavery and every member of society contributed in the work duties.

  • Where did they go?

  • During the fourth century AD, the Nabateans abandoned Petra and no one really knows why.

  • Archeological evidence proves that their exodus was an organized one that was unrushed, which

  • leads us to believe that they were not driven out of Petra by another culture. The most

  • likely explanation is that when the trade routes they relied on moved north they could

  • no longer sustain their civilization and left Petra behind.

  • 8. The Aksumite Empire

  • The Aksumite Empire began in the first century AD in what is now Ethiopia and is believed

  • to be the home of the Queen of Sheba. Aksum was a major trade center with exports of ivory,

  • agricultural resources and gold being traded throughout the Red Sea trade network and onward

  • to the Roman Empire and east towards India. Because of this, Aksum was a very wealthy

  • society and was the first African culture to issue its own coinage, which in ancient

  • times was a sign of great importance. The most recognizable monuments of Aksum are the

  • stelae, giant carved obelisks that acted as the grave markers of kings and nobles. Early

  • Aksumites worshipped several gods but their main god was called Astar. In 324 AD, King

  • Ezana II was converted to Christianity and from then on Aksum was a zealously Christian

  • culture, and is even allegedly the home of the Ark of the Covenant.

  • Where did they go?

  • According to local legend, a Jewish Queen named Yodit defeated the Aksumite Empire and

  • burned its churches and literature. However, others believe that southern pagan queen Bani

  • al-Hamwiyah led to the Aksumite decline. Other theories include climate change, trade isolation

  • and over farming leading to starvation.

  • 7.The Mycenaeans

  • Growing out of the Minoan civilization, the Myceanaeans merged around 1600 BC in southern

  • Greece. Being spread out over two islands and the southern mainland, the Myceaneans

  • built and invaded many major cities like Mycenae, Tiryns, Pylos, Athens, Thebes, Orchomenus,

  • Iolkos and Knossos. Many Greek myths are centered around Mycenae including the legend of King

  • Agamemnon, who led the Greek forces during the Trojan War. The Myceaneans were a dominant

  • naval power and used their naval prowess for trade with other nations as well as for military

  • endeavors. Because of a lack of natural resources, the Myceaneans imported many goods and turned

  • them into sellable items and therefore became master craftsmen, known throughout the Aegean

  • for their weapons and jewelry.

  • Where did they go?

  • No one knows for sure, but one theory is that unrest between the peasant class and the ruling

  • class led to the end of the Myceaneans. Other point to disruptions in trade routes, or natural

  • factors like earthquakes. But the most popular theory is that they were invaded by a civilization

  • from the north like the Dorians (who settled in the area after the fall of the Myceaneans)

  • or the Sea People (who at the time were migrating from the Balkans to the Middle East).

  • 6. The Khmer Empire

  • The Khmer Empire grew out of the kingdom of Chenla in what is now Cambodia around the

  • 9th century AD and became one of the most powerful empires in Southeast Asia. The empire

  • is known to most people as the civilization that built Angkor, Cambodia’s capital city.

  • The Khmer were an incredibly powerful and wealthy culture who were open to several belief

  • systems including Hinduism, Mahayana Buddhism and Theravada Buddhism, which were the empire’s

  • official religions. Their power also included military might as they fought many wars against

  • the Annamese and Chams.

  • Where did they go?

  • The decline of the Khmer Empire can be attributed to any combination of several factors. The

  • first being that the empire was ruled by a devarajo or god king, but with introduction

  • of Theravada Buddhism, which teaches self enlightenment, the government was challenged.

  • This led to a lack of a desire to work for the devarajo which impacted the amount of

  • food being produced. During the reign of Jayavarman VII, an elaborate road network was built to

  • make it easier to transport goods and troops throughout the Empire. But some scholars believe

  • that these roads worked against them, making it easier for invaders like the Ayuthaya to

  • get straight to Angkor.

  • 5.The Cucuteni-Trypillian Culture

  • In Romania they are the Cucuteni, in the Ukraine they are the Trypillians and in Russia they

  • are the Tripolie: a late Neolithic culture that flourished between 5500 BC and 2750 BC.

  • At their height, the Cucuteni-Trypillian society built the largest Neolithic settlements in

  • Europe, with some housing up to 15,000 people. One of the biggest mysteries of this culture

  • is that every 60 to 80 years they would burn their entire village and reconstruct it on

  • top of the old one. The Cucuteni-Typillian culture was matriarchal, the women were the

  • heads of the household and also did the agricultural work and made pottery, textiles and clothing.

  • The men were hunters, tool makers and were responsible for looking after domestic animals.

  • Their religion was centered around the Great Mother Goddess who was a symbol of motherhood

  • and agricultural fertility. They also worshipped the bull (strength, fertility and the sky)

  • and a snake (eternity and eternal movement).

  • Where did they go?

  • One of the main theories about the end of the Cucuteni-Trypillian culture is the Kurgan

  • hypothesis, which states that they were conquered by the warlike Kurgan culture. However, more

  • recent archeology points to a dramatic climate change which could have led to one of the

  • worst droughts in European historydevastating for a culture that relied heavily on farming.

  • 4. Clovis

  • A prehistoric Native American people, the Clovis culture dates back to 10,000 BC. Centered

  • in southern and central plains of North America they are archeologically recognized by chipped

  • flint points called Clovis points. They used these points on the end of spears to hunt

  • big game like mammoth and bison and small game like deer and rabbits. The Clovis people

  • were the first human inhabitants of the New World and are considered the ancestors of

  • all North and South American indigenous cultures. Many scholars believe that they crossed the

  • Beringia land bridge from Siberia to Alaska during the ice age and then headed south to

  • warmer climates.

  • Where did they go?

  • There are several theories around the disappearance of the Clovis culture. The first states that

  • a decrease in megafauna along with less mobility in their culture led them to branch off and

  • form new cultural groups, like the Folsom culture. Another theory is that the mammoth

  • and other species became extinct due to over hunting, leaving the Clovis without a viable

  • food source. The final theory revolves around a comet that crashed to the earth around the

  • Great Lakes region and significantly affected the Clovis culture.

  • 3.The Minoans

  • Named after the legendary King Minos, the Minoans inhabited what is now Crete from 3000

  • to 1000 BC. In Greek mythology, Minoa was the land of Cretan Bull and it’s son, the

  • Minotaur- a mythical half-man-half-bull that lived in the labyrinth and killed anyone who

  • entered. In reality, the Minoans were the first known civilization in Europe. Today

  • all that is left of the Minoan civilization are their palaces and the artifacts found

  • within. The Minoan civilization was one of social organization, art and commerce. Early

  • Minoans spoke a language that we call Linear A, which during later periods was replaced

  • by Linear B, both of which were based on pictographs. There is no evidence of any military culture

  • found in the Minoan palaces and it seems their power was purely economical. Even though the

  • Minoans fell, their culture was inherited first by the Myceaneans and from there by

  • the Hellenistic Greeks.

  • Where did they go?

  • Many scholars believe that the Minoans were wiped out by a volcanic eruption on the island

  • of Thera (now Santorini), but there is evidence that they survived. However, the eruption

  • would have killed all plant life thus leading to starvation, and damaged their ships leading

  • to economic decline. It is also believed that during this time they were invaded, possibly

  • by the Myceaneans.

  • 2.The Anasazi

  • The Anasazi or Ancestral Puebloans were a Native American culture that emerged in the

  • Four Corners area of the United States (where New Mexico, Arizona, Colordo, and Utah meet)

  • around 1200 BC. The early Puebloans were hunters and gatherers who lived in shallow pit houses.

  • Later they developed horticulture and began farming maize, beans and squash. Also found

  • at Anasazi archeological sites are greyware pottery, elaborate baskets, reed sandals,

  • rabbit fur robes, grinding stones and bows and arrows. In the Pueblo II and Pueblo III

  • eras the Anasazi carved whole towns out of nearby cliffs like those at Mesa Verde and

  • Bandelier or they constructed them out of stone or adobe mud like Chaco Canyon. These

  • towns hosted many cultural and civic events and were connected to each other by hundreds

  • of miles of roadways.

  • Where did they go?

  • Around 1300 AD the Ancestral Puebloans abandoned their cliff houses and scattered. Many scholars

  • believe that, after a population explosion, poor farming methods and a regional drought

  • made it difficult to produce enough food. Due to this lack of food, the Anasazi moved

  • either along the Rio Grande or on the Hopi mesas, and therefore many modern Pueblo Indians

  • believe that they are the descendants of the Anasazi. Recent studies prove that this climate

  • change could not explain the decline of the Anasazi alone and suggest that social and

  • political factors like a violent conflict led to their end, instead.

  • 1. The Indus Valley Civilization

  • Once inhabiting an area about the size of western Europe in what is now Pakistan and

  • western India, the Indus Valley or Harappan Civilization thrived from 3300 to 1300 BC,

  • although the area was settled all the way back to 7000 BC. Despite being one of the

  • largest ancient civilizations, not much is known about the Harappan civilization, mostly

  • because their language has never been deciphered. We do know that they built over one hundred

  • towns and villages including the cities of Harappa and Mohenjo-Daro, each of which was

  • built with an organized layout, and a complex plumbing system with indoor toilets. Evidence

  • suggests that the Harappan had a unified government and that there were no social classes. There

  • is also no evidence of military activity so it is likely that they lived in peace. They

  • were skilled astronomers and were well versed in agriculture, growing wheat, barley, peas,

  • melons, sesame and cotton (becoming the first civilization to produce cotton cloth) and

  • domesticating several animals including cattle and elephants.

  • Where did they go?

  • There are several theories as to what happened to the Indus Valley civilization. Some people

  • believe that they declined because of changes to their environment, such as a decrease in

  • the size of the Ghaggar Hakra river system or the cooler, drier temperatures that are

  • also evident throughout the Middle East. Another popular theory was that the Aryans invaded

  • them

  • around 1500 BC.

Top 10 Civilizations That Mysteriously Disappeared

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神秘的に消えた文明トップ10 - TopTenzNet (Top 10 Civilizations That Mysteriously Disappeared — TopTenzNet)

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    richardwang に公開 2021 年 01 月 14 日
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