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Ten Amazing Artifacts from the Ancient World

Ten Amazing Artifacts from the Ancient World


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There are undoubtedly millions of amazing artifacts from the ancient world that have served to shed light on the lives of our ancestors from many millennia ago. But some stand out for their uniqueness, their intrigue, or their ability to expand our knowledge about previously unknown aspects of our history. Here we feature ten such artifacts. We have intentionally chosen not to feature well-known artifacts such as the Antikythera Mechanism, Baghdad Battery, Viking Sunstone and many other famous relics. Rather, we wished to highlight some lesser known but equally incredible artifacts from the ancient world.

Thor’s Hammer (c 900 AD, Denmark)

The discovery of a 10th century Viking artifact resembling the Hammer of Thor has solved a long-running mystery surrounding more than 1,000 ancient amulets found across Northern Europe. The relics, known as the Mjöllnir amulets, appear to depict hammers, which historians have linked to the Norse god Thor. However, this could not be concluded with certainty as their shapes were not conclusive, and none of them contained inscriptions revealing their identity. But earlier this year, another similar pendant was found in Købelev, on the Danish island of Lolland, which contained the runic inscription “this is a hammer”. Cast in bronze, and likely plated with silver, tin and gold, the 1,100-year-old pendant shows that Thor’s myth deeply influenced Viking jewellery.

According to Norse mythology, Thor is a hammer-wielding god associated with thunder, lightning, storms, oak trees, strength, the protection of mankind, and also hallowing, healing and fertility. Thor is a prominently mentioned god throughout the recorded history of the Germanic peoples, from the Roman occupation of regions of Germania, to the tribal expansions of the Migration Period, to his high popularity during the Viking Age, when, in the face of the process of the Christianization of Scandinavia, the Mjölnir amulets were worn in defiance and Norse pagan personal names containing the name of the god bear witness to his popularity.

The Quipu of Caral (3,000 BC, Peru)

The Sacred City of Caral is a 5,000-year-old metropolis which represents the oldest known civilization in the Americas, known as the Norte Chico. Among the many incredible artifacts recovered at the site, archaeologists found a segment of knotted strings known as a quipu. Quipus, sometimes called ‘talking knots’, were recording devices that consisted of coloured, spun, and plied thread or strings from llama or alpaca hair, or made of cotton cords. It is known that by the time of the Inca, the system aided in collecting data and keeping records, ranging from monitoring tax obligations, properly collecting census records, calendrical information, and military organization. The cords contained numeric and other values encoded by knots in a base ten positional system. Together, the type of wool, the colours, the knots and the joins held both statistical and narrative information that was once readable by several South American societies. In some villages, quipus were important items for the local community, and took on ritual rather than recording use. Until the discovery of the quipu in Caral, no other examples had been found that dated back earlier than 650 AD. So the significance of this finding was that it was now apparent that inhabitants of Andean South America were using this complex recording system thousands of years earlier than they initially thought.

Terracotta baby bottle, toy, and rattle, all in one (400 BC, Italy)

Last year, archaeologists in Italy found a 2,400-year-old terracotta baby’s bottle, which doubled as a pig-shaped toy. The unique artefact is one of several rare objects found last in Manduria, when construction work exposed a Messapian tomb. The relic is known as a guttus, which is a vessel with a narrow mouth or neck from which liquids were poured. They were used for wine and other drinks, but in this case, the guttus was used for feeding a baby or young child. Uniquely, this guttus was also shaped like a pig with pointy ears and human-like eyes. It also featured terracotta rattles in its tummy. The vessel dates back about 2,400 years when the southeast area of Italy was inhabited by the Messapian people, a tribal group who migrated from Illyria (a region in the western part of the Balkan Peninsula) around 1000 B.C. The Messapians died out after the Roman Republic conquered the region and assimilated the inhabitants.

The Nebra Sky Disk (c 1,600 BC, Germany)

The Nebra Sky Disc is a 3,600-year-old bronze disc which is such an extraordinary piece that it was initially believed to be an archaeological forgery. However, detailed scientific analysis revealed that it is indeed authentic and the precious artefact is now included in UNESCO’s ‘Memory of the World’ register. The Nebra Sky Disc was discovered in Ziegelroda Forest, Saxony-Anhalt, Germany. It had been ritually buried in a prehistoric enclosure atop a hill (the Mittelberg), along with two precious swords, two axes, two spiral arm-rings and one bronze chisel. The disc measures approximately 30 cm in diameter, weighs 2.2 kg, and is decorated with a blue-green patina and inlaid with gold symbols. These are interpreted generally as a sun or full moon, a lunar crescent, and stars (including a cluster interpreted as the Pleiades). Two golden arcs along the sides were added later. The two arcs span an angle of 82°, correctly indicating the angle between the positions of sunset at summer and winter solstice at the latitude of the Mittelberg (51°N). A final addition was another arc at the bottom surrounded with multiple strokes of uncertain meaning, variously interpreted as a Solar Barge (“the sun boat”) with numerous oars, or as the Milky Way. While much older earthworks and megalithic astronomical complexes such as the Goseck circle or Stonehenge had already been used to mark the solstices, the disc is the oldest known "portable instrument" to allow such measurements.

Gold-encrusted dagger of Stonehenge’s Bush Barrow (2,000 BC, England)

In 1808, William Cunnington, one of Britain's earliest professional archaeologists, discovered what has become known as the crown jewels of the 'King of Stonehenge'. They were found within a large Bronze Age burial mound just ½ mile from Stonehenge, known today as Bush Barrow. Within the 4,000-year-old barrow, Cunnington found ornate jewellery, a gold lozenge that fastened his cloak, and an intricately decorated dagger. The dagger was originally adorned with up to 140,000 tiny gold studs just a third of a millimetre wide. To create the studs, the craftsman had to first create an extremely fine gold wire, just a little thicker than a human hair. The end of the wire was then flattened to create a stud-head, and cut with a very sharp flint or obsidian razor, just a millimetre below the head. This delicate procedure was then repeated literarily tens of thousands of times. Thousands of tiny holes were then made in the dagger handle and a thin layer of tree resin was rubbed over the surface as an adhesive to keep the studs in place. Each stud was then carefully placed into its miniscule hole. It has been estimated that the entire process – wire manufacture, stud-making, hole-making, resin pasting and stud positioning – would have taken at least 2500 hours to complete.

The Trundholm Sun Chariot (c. 1700-500 BC, Denmark)

The Trundholm Sun ‘Chariot’ is a bronze and gold artefact pulled out of a bog on the Danish island of Sjælland in 1902. Even though this artefact is said to belong to the Nordic Bronze Age (c. 1700-500 B.C.), its exact age is still uncertain. The ‘chariot’ consists of a bronze horse, a bronze disc with a thin sheet of gold pressed into one side, and 6 four-spoke wheels made also of bronze. Apart from being a ritual object, it has also been suggested that the Trundholm Sun ‘Chariot’ may have functioned as a calendar. This theory was proposed by Klaus Randsborg, a professor of Archaeology at the University of Copenhagen, who explained that the golden day-side has dimensions associated with one third of a Solar year, while the night-side of the large central concentric circle has dimensions linked to six lunar months. He therefore concluded that “the reference is to the Sun-calendar on the day-side, and to the Moon-calendar on the night-side of the Sun Chariot, which seems the perfect calculation.”

The James Ossuary (1 st century AD, Israel)

The James Ossuary is believed by some to be one of the most precious Biblical artifacts of all time, as the limestone box which is said to have held the bones of the purported brother of Jesus and if proven correct, would be the first physical link to Jesus. The first century AD burial box contains an Aramaic inscription that reads "James, son of Joseph, brother of Jesus." The box was carved from a single piece of limestone, which was typical of burial boxes used by Jews of first-century Palestine. In those days, bodies were left in a cave for a year before the bones were collected and put in a box. The limestone box has been at the centre of the most controversial forgery cases in decades. The Israel Antiquities Authority (IAA) tried to prove in court that the items were forged by antiquities collector Oded Golan, but they failed in their ruling and subsequently tried, unsuccessfully, to gain ownership of the item. It is also alleged, that the item was vandalized by the Israeli government before being returned to its owner.

The Divje Babe flute (58,000 – 43,000 BC, Slovenia)

The oldest musical instrument ever discovered is believed to be the Divje Babe flute, discovered in a cave in Slovenia in 1995. The item is a fragment of the femur of a cave bear, which has been dated at 60,000-43,000 years old, which had been pierced with spaced holes. Scientists who could not accept the possibility that Neanderthals were playing music rejected the claim and said that the perfectly spaced and neatly carved holes are in fact the result of the bone fragment having been chewed by an animal. However, a general consensus that the Divje Babe flute is actually a musical instrument has been growing as the view of the Neanderthals from primitive, uncultured brutes to more sophisticated humans is finally changing.

The Ubaid Lizard (c 5,000 BC, Iraq)

In the early 20 th century, archaeologists were excavating at the Tell Al’Ubaid archaeological site in Iraq when they made an unusual discovery – numerous 7,000-year-old artifacts depicting humanoid figures with lizard-like characteristics, including long heads, almond shaped eyes, long tapered faces and a lizard-type nose. Some appear to be wearing a helmet and have some kind of padding on the shoulders. Other figurines were found to hold a staff or sceptre, possibly as a symbol of justice and ruling. Male and female figurines were found in different postures, but the strangest of all are the female figurines holding babies suckling milk, with the child also represented with lizard-like features.

The Ubaidian culture is a prehistoric culture in Mesopotamia that dates between 5,500 and 4,000 BC. As with the Sumerians, the origins of the Ubaidian people is unknown. They lived in large village settlements in mud-brick houses and they had developed architecture, agriculture and farmed the land using irrigation.

The Venus Figurines (30,000 – 10,000 BC, Europe)

The Venus figurines is a term given to a collection of prehistoric statuettes of women made during the Paleolithic Period, mostly found in Europe, but with finds as far as Siberia. To date, more than 200 of the figurines have been found, dating back to between 30,000 and 10,000 BC, all of whom are portrayed with similar physical attributes, including curvaceous bodies with large breasts, bottoms, abdomen, hips, and thighs, and usually tapered at the top and bottom. The heads are often of relatively small size and devoid of detail, and most are missing hands and feet. Some appear to represent pregnant women, while others show no such signs. The figurines were carved from all manner of different materials, ranging from soft stone (such as steatite, calcite, or limestone) to bone, ivory, or clay. The latter type are among the earliest ceramic works yet discovered.

The term ‘Venus figurines’ is controversial in itself. Inspired by Venus, the ancient Greek goddess of love, it assumes that the figures represent a goddess. Of course, this is one possible explanation, but it is just one of many interpretations that have been proposed. A considerable diversity of opinion exists in the archaeological and paleoanthropological literature regarding the possible functions and significance of these objects. Some of the different theories put forward include: fertility symbols, self-portraits, Stone Age dolls, realistic depictions of actual women, ideal representations of female beauty, religious icons, representations of a mother goddess, or even the equivalent of pornographic imagery.


In 1900, the Antikythera mechanism was discovered in a shipwreck near the island of Antikythera in Greece. It was found by a group of divers who were searching for artifacts such as statues, coins, jewelry, etc. Little did they know that what they discovered was an ancient Greek computer designed to predict astronomical positions.

The mechanism, found encased in a 340mm x 180mm x 90mm wooden box, is a complicated piece of machinery with more than 30 bronze gears. It dates back to 150-100 BC which proves that the ancient Greeks were ahead of their time.


The Baghdad Battery (or Parthian Battery)

In 1936 workers excavating ruins of a 2000-year-old village close to Baghdad discovered a strange small vase. They couldn&apost figure out what it was for. It consisted of a 6-inch high pot of bright yellow clay. After dating it, they found it was exactly the age of the village. 2000 years old. Nothing unusual about that until they opened it. It contained a cylinder of sheet copper 5 inches by 1.5. At the edge of the copper cylinder, they noticed that it had been soldered with a 60-40 lead-tin alloy similar to today&aposs solder! Even stranger was the fact that the bottom was capped with a copper disk and sealed with bitumen or something similar. Inside the copper cylinder, there was a suspended iron rod. The top of the cylinder was also capped and sealed with bitumen. The rod had been badly corroded with an acidic agent.

So what does this mean exactly? Well, there are two theories about this. Both of them pretty radical! The first theory believes that it may be a galvanic cell for electroplating gold onto silver, this idea first became popular in 1938 by Wilhelm Konig, the German director of the national museum of Iraq. Alessandro Volta invented the same thing in 1800! or so he thought.

And the second explanation is that it is a battery! There have in fact been found a number of these &aposBatteries&apos since then. They are believed to have been invented in Mesopotamia and Iraq, between the ages of 248 BCE and 226 CE. Or BC and AD at the time of the Parthian occupation.

Other objects were found with a patina of silver on copper. When tested, they reacted in a way typical of soldering metals like we use today. The batteries have been tested and produces only a tiny amount of electricity, but they do indeed work! Evidently the Ancient Greeks used something called &aposElectric Fish&apos to reduce pain by applying to the soles of the feet. Seems they were in on the secret too!


Voynich Manuscript

One of the many unique finds of the 20th century was the Voynich Manuscript, which no one could read or decipher.

An antique bookseller discovered the manuscript in 1912. The Voynich Manuscript is a 250-page book that is written in an unknown alphabet.

The book is also illustrated with various pictures that range from zodiac signs to medicinal herbs to female nudes.

The book is currently kept at Yale University’s Beinecke Rare Book & Manuscript Library.


Natural World Site Amazing Science News


Out-of-Place Metal Objects
Humans were not even around 65 million years ago, never mind people who could work metal. So then how does science explain semi-ovoid metallic tubes dug out of 65-million-year-old Cretaceous chalk in France? In 1885, a block of coal was broken open to find a metal cube obviously worked by intelligent hands. In 1912, employees at an electric plant broke apart a large chunk of coal out of which fell an iron pot! A nail was found embedded in a sandstone block from the Mesozoic Era. And there are many, many more such anomalies.
What are we to make of these finds? There are several possibilities:

Intelligent humans date back much, much further than we realize.
Other intelligent beings and civilizations existed on earth far beyond our recorded history.
Our dating methods are completely inaccurate, and that stone, coal and fossils form much more rapidly than we now estimate.
In any case, these examples – and there are many more – should prompt any curious and open-minded scientist to reexamine and rethink the true history of life on earth.


Giant Stone Balls of Costa Rica
Workmen hacking and burning their way through the dense jungle of Costa Rica to clear an area for banana plantations in the 1930s stumbled upon some incredible objects: dozens of stone balls, many of which were perfectly spherical. They varied in size from as small as a tennis ball to an astonishing 8 feet in diameter and weighing 16 tons! Although the great stone balls are clearly man-made, it is unknown who made them, for what purpose and, most puzzling, how they achieved such spherical precision.


Ancient Model Aircraft

There are artifacts belonging to ancient Egyptian and Central American cultures that look amazingly like modern-day aircraft. The Egyptian artifact, found in a tomb at Saqquara, Egypt in 1898, is a six-inch wooden object that strongly resembles a model airplane, with fuselage, wings and tail. Experts believe the object is so aerodynamic that it is actually able to glide. The small object discovered in Central America (shown at right), and estimated to be 1,000 years old, is made of gold and could easily be mistaken for a model of a delta-wing aircraft – or even the Space Shuttle. It even features what looks like a pilot’s seat.


The Coso Artifact

While mineral hunting in the mountains of California near Olancha during the winter of 1961, Wallace Lane, Virginia Maxey and Mike Mikesell found a rock, among many others, that they thought was a geode – a good addition for their gem shop. Upon cutting it open, however, Mikesell found an object inside that seemed to be made of white porcelain. In the center was a shaft of shiny metal. Experts estimated that, if this was a geode, it should have taken about 500,000 years for this fossil-encrusted nodule to form, yet the object inside was obviously of sophisticated human manufacture. Further investigation revealed that the porcelain was surround by a hexagonal casing, and an x-ray revealed a tiny spring at one end, like a spark plug. There’s a bit of controversy around this artifact, as you can imagine. Some contend that the artifact was not inside a geode at all, but encased in hardened clay. The artifact itself has been identified by experts as a 1920s-era Champion spark plug. Unfortunately, the Coso Artifact has gone missing and cannot be thoroughly examined. Is there a natural explanation for it? Or was it found, as the discoverer claimed, inside a geode? If so, how could a 1920s sparkplug get inside a 500,000-year-old rock?


The Baghdad Battery

Today batteries can be found in any grocery, drug, convenience and department store you come across. Well, here’s a battery that’s 2,000 years old! Known as the Baghdad Battery, this curiosity was found in the ruins of a Parthian village believed to date back to between 248 B.C. and 226 A.D. The device consists of a 5-1/2-inch high clay vessel inside of which was a copper cylinder held in place by asphalt, and inside of that was an oxidized iron rod. Experts who examined it concluded that the device needed only to be filled with an acid or alkaline liquid to produce an electric charge. It is believed that this ancient battery might have been used for electroplating objects with gold. If so, how was this technology lost… and the battery not rediscovered for another 1,800 years?


The Antikythera Mechanism

A perplexing artifact was recovered by sponge-divers from a shipwreck in 1900 off the coast of Antikythera, a small island that lies northwest of Crete. The divers brought up from the wreck a great many marble and and bronze statues that had apparently been the ship’s cargo. Among the findings was a hunk of corroded bronze that contained some kind of mechanism composed of many gears and wheels. Writing on the case indicated that it was made in 80 B.C., and many experts at first thought it was an astrolabe, an astronomer’s tool. An x-ray of the mechanism, however, revealed it to be far more complex, containing a sophisticated system of differential gears. Gearing of this complexity was not known to exist until 1575! It is still unknown who constructed this amazing instrument 2,000 years ago or how the technology was lost.


The Ica Stones

In the 1930s, Dr. Javier Cabrera, a medical doctor, received a gift of a strange stone from a local farmer. Dr. Cabrera was so intrigued that he collected more than 1,100 of these andesite stones, which are estimated to be between 500 and 1,500 years old and have become known collectively as the Ica Stones. The stones bear etchings, many of which are sexually graphic (which was common to the culture) some picture idols and others depict such practices as open-heart surgery and brain transplants. The most astonishing etchings, however, clearly represent dinosaurs – brontosaurs, triceratops (see photo), stegosaurus and pterosaurs. While skeptics consider the Ica Stones a hoax, their authenticity has neither been proved or disproved.


The Dropa Stones

In 1938, an archeological expedition led by Dr. Chi Pu Tei into the Baian-Kara-Ula mountains of China made an astonishing discovery in some caves that had apparently been occupied by some ancient culture. Buried in the dust of ages on the cave floor were hundreds of stone disks. Measuring about nine inches in diameter, each had a circle cut into the center and was etched with a spiral groove, making it look for all the world like some ancient phonograph record some 10,000 to 12,000 years old. The spiral groove, it turns out, is actually composed of tiny hieroglyphics that tell the incredible story of spaceships from some distant world that crash-landed in the mountains. The ships were piloted by people who called themselves the Dropa, and the remains of whose descendents, possibly, were found in the cave.


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Mesopotamia Edit

Mesopotamia (from the Greek Μεσοποταμία "[land] between the rivers", in Syriac called ܒܝܬ ܢܗܪܝܢ pronounced "Beth Nahrain", "Land of rivers", rendered in Arabic as بلاد الرافدين bilād al-rāfidayn) is a toponym for the area of the Tigris-Euphrates river system, largely corresponding to modern-day Iraq, as well as some parts of northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey, and southwestern Iran. Mesopotamia is often considered the "cradle of civilization." Within its boundaries, some of the most ancient civilizations known first developed writing and agriculture. Many civilizations flourished there, leaving behind a rich legacy of ancient art.

Widely considered to be the cradle of civilization, Bronze Age Mesopotamia included Sumer and the Akkadian, Babylonian and Assyrian empires. In the Iron Age, it was ruled by the Neo-Assyrian and Neo-Babylonian empires. The indigenous Sumerians and Akkadians (including Assyrians & Babylonians) dominated Mesopotamia from the beginning of written history (c. 3100 BC) to the fall of Babylon in 539 BC, when it was conquered by the Achaemenid Empire. It fell to Alexander the Great in 332 BC and after his death it became part of the Greek Seleucid Empire.

Around 150 BC, Mesopotamia was under the control of the Parthians. Mesopotamia became a battleground between the Romans and Parthians, with parts of Mesopotamia (particularly Assyria) coming under periodic Roman control. In 226 AD, it fell to the Sassanid Persians, and remained under Persian rule until the 7th-century Arab Islamic conquest of the Sassanid Empire. A number of primarily Christian native Mesopotamian states existed between the 1st century BC and 3rd century AD, including Adiabene, Oshroene and Hatra. Etymology: The regional toponym Mesopotamia (from the root words "meso" < μέσος = middle and "potamia" < ποταμός = river, literally "between rivers") was coined in the Hellenistic period to refer to a broad geographical area without definite boundaries, and was probably used by the Seleucids. The term biritum/birit narim corresponded to a similar geographical concept and was coined during the Aramaicization of the region, in the 10th century BC.

It is widely accepted, however, that early Mesopotamian societies simply referred to the entire alluvium by the Sumerian term kalam ("land"). More recently, terms like "Greater Mesopotamia" or "Syro-Mesopotamia" have been adopted to refer to wider geographies corresponding to the Near East or Middle East. These later euphemisms are Eurocentric terms attributed to the region in the midst of various 19th-century Western encroachments.

Sumerian Edit

Archaeological evidence attests to their existence during the 5th millennium BC. The Sumerians decorated their pottery with cedar oil paints. The Sumerians also developed jewelry.

One of the most remarkable artifacts remaining from the Sumerian civilization is known as the Standard of Ur. Dated to approximately 2500 B.C., the Standard is a wooden box inlaid with shells and lapis lazuli. It depicts, on one side, soldiers presenting their king with prisoners and, on the other side, peasants presenting him with gifts—stunning evidence that attests to the vibrancy of art in this ancient culture. Sumer had made many great advances for example, there is the wheel, which had made transportation easier for the Sumerians. The arch was the greatest architectural achievement of Sumer. The ziggurats were pyramid-shaped temples the Sumerian architects built. They believed that the gods lived at the tops of the temples. The kings would declare that the gods had sent them to rule, and the Sumerians would happily follow the king's laws. The king had many important jobs like leading the army and looking after irrigation, with which Sumerians could control rivers. The rulers would have battles over land, and life went on for the Sumerians.

Cuneiform tablet 3100-2900 BC clay 5.5 x 6 x 4.15 cm Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York City)


Contents

The name Eritrea is derived from the ancient Greek name for the Red Sea ( Ἐρυθρὰ Θάλασσα Erythra Thalassa, based on the adjective ἐρυθρός erythros "red"). It was first formally adopted in 1890, with the formation of Italian Eritrea (Colonia Eritrea). [27] The name persisted over the course of subsequent British and Ethiopian occupation, and was reaffirmed by the 1993 independence referendum and 1997 constitution. [28]

Prehistory Edit

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 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. [29] It is believed that the section of the Danakil Depression in Eritrea was also a major player in terms of human evolution, and may contain other traces of evolution from Homo erectus hominids to anatomically modern humans. [30]

During the last interglacial period, the Red Sea coast of Eritrea was occupied by early anatomically modern humans. [31] 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. [31] In 1999, the Eritrean Research Project Team composed of Eritrean, Canadian, American, Dutch 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. [32] [33] [34] [35]

Antiquity Edit

Research shows tools found in the Barka Valley dating from 8000 BC appear to offer the first concrete evidence of human settlement in the area. [36] Research also shows that many of the ethnic groups of Eritrea were the first to inhabit these areas. [37]

Excavations in and near Agordat in central Eritrea yielded the remains of an ancient pre-Aksumite civilization known as the Gash Group. [38] Ceramics were discovered that were dating back between 2500 and 1500 BC. [39]

Around 2000 BC, parts of Eritrea were most likely part of the Land of Punt, first mentioned in the 25th century BC. [40] [41] [42] It was known for producing and exporting gold, aromatic resins, blackwood, ebony, ivory and wild animals. The region is known from ancient Egyptian records of trade expeditions to it. [43] [44] [45] [46]

Excavations at Sembel found evidence of an ancient pre-Aksumite civilization in greater Asmara. This Ona urban culture is believed to have been among the Oldest pastoral and agricultural communities in East Africa. Artifacts at the site have been dated to between 800 BC and 400 BC, contemporaneous with other pre-Aksumite settlements in the Eritrean and Ethiopian highlands during the mid-first millennium BC. [47] [48] [49]

Kingdom of D'mt Edit

Dʿmt was a kingdom that encompassed most of Eritrea and the northern frontier of Ethiopia. The polity existed during the 10th to 5th centuries BC. Given the presence of a massive temple complex at Yeha, this area was most likely the kingdom's capital. Qohaito, often identified as the town of Koloe in the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea, [50] as well as Matara were important ancient Dʿmt kingdom cities in southern Eritrea.

The realm developed irrigation schemes, used plows, grew millet, and made iron tools and weapons. After the fall of Dʿmt in the 5th century BC, the plateau came to be dominated by smaller successor kingdoms. This lasted until the rise of one of these polities during the first century, the Kingdom of Aksum, which was able to reunite the area. [51]

Kingdom of Aksum Edit

The Kingdom of Aksum (or Axum) was a trading empire centered in Eritrea and northern Ethiopia. [52] It existed from approximately 100–940 AD, growing from the proto-Aksumite Iron Age period around the 4th century BC to achieve prominence by the 1st century AD.

According to the medieval Liber Axumae (Book of Aksum), Aksum's first capital, Mazaber, was built by Itiyopis, son of Cush. [53] The capital was later moved to Axum in northern Ethiopia. The Kingdom used the name "Ethiopia" as early as the 4th century. [19] [20]

The Aksumites erected a number of large stelae, which served a religious purpose in pre-Christian times. One of these granite columns, the Obelisk of Aksum, is the largest such structure in the world, standing at 90 feet (27 metres). [54] Under Ezana (fl. 320–360), Aksum later adopted Christianity. [55]

Christianity was the first world religion to be adopted in Eritrea and the oldest monastery in the country Debre Sina (monastery) was built during the 4th century. It is one of the oldest monasteries in Africa and the world. [56] Debre Libanos, the second oldest monastery was said to have been founded in the late fifth or early sixth century. Originally located in the village of Ham, it was moved to an inaccessible location on the edge of a cliff below the Ham plateau. Its church contains the Golden Gospel, a metal-covered bible dating to the 13th century during which Debre Libanos was an important seat of religious power. [57]

In the 7th century, early Muslims from Mecca, at least companions of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, sought refuge from Qurayshi persecution by travelling to the kingdom, a journey known in Islamic history as the First Hijrah. They reportedly built the first African mosque, that is the Mosque of the Companions, Massawa. [58]

The kingdom is mentioned in the Periplus of the Erythraean Sea as an important market place for ivory, which was exported throughout the ancient world. Aksum was at the time ruled by Zoskales, who also governed the port of Adulis. [59] The Aksumite rulers facilitated trade by minting their own Aksumite currency. [60]

Middle Ages Edit

Medri Bahri Edit

After the decline of Aksum, the Eritrean highlands were under the domain of the Christian Kingdom of Medri Bahri, ruled by a Bahri Negus (or Bahri Negash, meaning "sea king"). The area was at first known as Ma'ikele Bahri ("between the seas/rivers", i.e. the land between the Red Sea and the Mereb river). [61] The entire coastal domain of Ma'ikele Bahri was under the Adal Sultanate during the reign of Sultan Badlay ibn Sa'ad ad-Din. [62] [63] The state was later reconquered by the Ethiopian Emperor Zara Yaqob and renamed the Medri Bahri ("Sea land" in Tigrinya, although it included some areas like Shire in Ethiopia on the other side of the Mereb, today in Ethiopia). [64] With its capital at Debarwa, [65] the state's main provinces were Hamasien, Serae and Akele Guzai.

By 1517, the Ottomans had succeeded in conquering Medri Bahri. They occupied all of northeastern present-day Eritrea for the next two decades, an area which stretched from Massawa to Swakin in Sudan. [66] The territory became an Ottoman governorate, known as the Habesh Eyalet. Massawa served as the new province's first capital. When the city became of secondary economical importance, the administrative capital was soon moved across the Red Sea to Jeddah. [67]

The first Westerner to visit Eritrea was the Portuguese explorer Francisco Alvares in 1520. In his books we have the first description of the local powers of Tigray, the kingdom of Axum and Barnagais (the lord of the lands by the sea) [68]

The coast of present-day Eritrea was the one that guaranteed the connection to the region of Tigray where the Portuguese had a small colony, and therefore the connection to the interior Ethiopian, allies of the Portuguese. Massawa was also the stage for the 1541 landing of troops by Cristóvão da Gama in the military campaign that would eventually defeat the Adal Sultanate in the final battle of Wayna Daga in 1543. [69]

The Turks tried to occupy the highland parts of Medri Bahri in 1559 and withdrew after they encountered resistance and were pushed back by the Bahri Negash and highland forces. In 1578 they tried to expand into the highlands with the help of Bahri Negash Yisehaq, who had switched alliances due to a power struggle. Ethiopian emperor Sarsa Dengel made a punitive expedition against the Turks in 1588 in response to their raids in the northern provinces, and by 1589 they were once again apparently compelled to withdraw their forces to the coast. The Ottomans were eventually driven out in the last quarter of the 16th century. However, they retained control over the seaboard until the establishment of Italian Eritrea in the late 1800s. [66] [70] [71]

In 1734, the Afar leader Kedafu, established the Mudaito Dynasty in Ethiopia, which later also came to include the southern Denkel lowlands of Eritrea, thus incorporating the southern denkel lowlands to the Sultanate of Aussa. 16th century also marked the arrival of the Ottomans, who began making inroads in the Red Sea area. [66] [72] [73] [74] [75]

Modern history Edit

Italian Eritrea Edit

The boundaries of the present-day Eritrea nation state were established during the Scramble for Africa. In 1869 [76] or 1870, the ruling local chief sold lands surrounding the Bay of Assab to the Rubattino Shipping Company. [77] The area served as a coaling station along the shipping lanes introduced by the recently completed Suez Canal.

In the vacuum that followed the 1889 death of Emperor Yohannes IV, Gen. Oreste Baratieri occupied the highlands along the Eritrean coast and Italy proclaimed the establishment of the new colony of Italian Eritrea, a colony of the Kingdom of Italy. In the Treaty of Wuchale (It. Uccialli) signed the same year, King Menelik of Shewa, a southern Ethiopian kingdom, recognized the Italian occupation of his rivals' lands of Bogos, Hamasien, Akkele Guzay, and Serae in exchange for guarantees of financial assistance and continuing access to European arms and ammunition. His subsequent victory over his rival kings and enthronement as Emperor Menelek II (r. 1889–1913) made the treaty formally binding upon the entire territory. [78]

In 1888, the Italian administration launched its first development projects in the new colony. The Eritrean Railway was completed to Saati in 1888, [79] and reached Asmara in the highlands in 1911. [80] The Asmara–Massawa Cableway was the longest line in the world during its time, but was later dismantled by the British in World War II. Besides major infrastructural projects, the colonial authorities invested significantly in the agricultural sector. It also oversaw the provision of urban amenities in Asmara and Massawa, and employed many Eritreans in public service, particularly in the police and public works departments. [80] Thousands of Eritreans were concurrently enlisted in the army, serving during the Italo-Turkish War in Libya as well as the First and Second Italo-Abyssinian Wars.

Additionally, the Italian Eritrea administration opened a number of new factories, which produced buttons, cooking oil, pasta, construction materials, packing meat, tobacco, hide, and other household commodities. In 1939, there were around 2,198 factories and most of the employees were Eritrean citizens. The establishment of industries also made an increase in the number of both Italians and Eritreans residing in the cities. The number of Italians residing in the territory increased from 4,600 to 75,000 in five years and with the involvement of Eritreans in the industries, trade and fruit plantation was expanded across the nation, while some of the plantations were owned by Eritreans. [81]

In 1922, Benito Mussolini's rise to power in Italy brought profound changes to the colonial government in Italian Eritrea. After il Duce declared the birth of the Italian Empire in May 1936, Italian Eritrea (enlarged with northern Ethiopia's regions) and Italian Somaliland were merged with the just conquered Ethiopia in the new Italian East Africa (Africa Orientale Italiana) administrative territory. This Fascist period was characterized by imperial expansion in the name of a "new Roman Empire". Eritrea was chosen by the Italian government to be the industrial center of Italian East Africa. [82]

Asmara's architecture after 1935 was greatly improved to become a "modernist Art Deco city" (in 2017 has been declared a "UNESCO World City Heritage" [83] ), featuring eclectic and rationalist built forms, well-defined open spaces, and public and private buildings, including cinemas, shops, banks, religious structures, public and private offices, industrial facilities, and residences (according to UNESCO's publications). The Italians designed more than 400 buildings in a construction boom that was only halted by Italy's involvement in WW2. These included art deco masterpieces like the worldwide famous Fiat Tagliero Building and the Cinema Impero [84]

British administration Edit

Through the 1941 Battle of Keren, the British expelled the Italians, [85] and took over the administration of the country.

The British placed Eritrea under British military administration until Allied forces could determine its fate.

In the absence of agreement amongst the Allies concerning the status of Eritrea, British administration continued for the remainder of World War II and until 1950. During the immediate postwar years, the British proposed that Eritrea be divided along religious lines and annexed partly to the British colony of Sudan and partly to Ethiopia. [ citation needed ] The Soviet Union, anticipating a communist victory in the Italian polls, initially supported returning Eritrea to Italy under trusteeship or as a colony. [ citation needed ]

Federation with Ethiopia Edit

In the 1950s, the Ethiopian feudal administration under Emperor Haile Selassie sought to annex Eritrea and Italian Somaliland. He laid claim to both territories in a letter to Franklin D. Roosevelt at the Paris Peace Conference and at the First Session of the United Nations. [86] In the United Nations, the debate over the fate of the former Italian colonies continued. The British and Americans preferred to cede all of Eritrea except the Western province to the Ethiopians as a reward for their support during World War II. [87] The Independence Bloc of Eritrean parties consistently requested from the UN General Assembly that a referendum be held immediately to settle the Eritrean question of sovereignty.

Following the adoption of UN Resolution 390A(V) in December 1950, Eritrea was federated with Ethiopia under the prompting of the United States. [88] The resolution called for Eritrea and Ethiopia to be linked through a loose federal structure under the sovereignty of the Emperor. Eritrea was to have its own administrative and judicial structure, its own flag, and control over its domestic affairs, including police, local administration, and taxation. [86] The federal government, which for all practical purposes was the existing imperial government, was to control foreign affairs (including commerce), defense, finance, and transportation. The resolution ignored the wishes of Eritreans for independence, but guaranteed the population democratic rights and a measure of autonomy.

Independence Edit

In 1958, a group of Eritreans founded the Eritrean Liberation Movement (ELM). The organization mainly consisted of Eritrean students, professionals and intellectuals. It engaged in clandestine political activities intended to cultivate resistance to the centralizing policies of the imperial Ethiopian state. [89] On 1 September 1961, the Eritrean Liberation Front (ELF), under the leadership of Hamid Idris Awate, waged an armed struggle for independence. In 1962, Emperor Haile Selassie unilaterally dissolved the Eritrean parliament and annexed the territory. The ensuing Eritrean War of Independence went on for 30 years against successive Ethiopian governments until 1991, when the Eritrean People's Liberation Front (EPLF), a successor of the ELF, defeated the Ethiopian forces in Eritrea and helped a coalition of Ethiopian rebel forces take control of the Ethiopian capital Addis Ababa.

Following a UN-supervised referendum in Eritrea (dubbed UNOVER) in which the Eritrean people overwhelmingly voted for independence, Eritrea declared its independence and gained international recognition in 1993. [90] The EPLF seized power, established a one-party state along nationalist lines and banned further political activity. There have been no elections since. [91] [92] [93] [94]

In 2020, Eritrean troops intervened in Ethiopia's Tigray War on the side of Ethiopia's central government. [95] [96] [97] [98] In April 2021, Eritrea confirmed its troops are fighting in Ethiopia. [99]

Location and habitat Edit

Eritrea is located in East Africa. It is bordered to the northeast and east by the Red Sea, Sudan to the west, Ethiopia to the south, and Djibouti to the southeast. Eritrea lies between latitudes 12° and 18°N, and longitudes 36° and 44°E.

The country is virtually bisected by a branch of the East African Rift. Eritrea, at the southern end of the Red Sea, is the home of the fork in the rift. The Dahlak Archipelago and its fishing grounds are situated off the sandy and arid coastline.

Eritrea can be split into three ecoregions. To the east of the highlands are the hot, arid coastal plains stretching down to the southeast of the country. The cooler, more fertile highlands, reaching up to 3000 m, have a different habitat. Habitats here vary from the sub-tropical rainforest at Filfil Solomona to the precipitous cliffs and canyons of the southern highlands. [100] The Afar Triangle or Danakil Depression of Eritrea is the probable location of a triple junction where three tectonic plates are pulling away from one another. The highest point of the country, Emba Soira, is located in the center of Eritrea, at 3,018 meters (9,902 ft) above sea level.

The main cities of the country are the capital city of Asmara and the port town of Asseb in the southeast, as well as the towns of Massawa to the east, the northern town of Keren, and the central town Mendefera.

Eritrea is part of a 14-nation constituency within the Global Environment Facility, which partners with international institutions, civil society organizations, and the private sector to address global environmental issues while supporting national sustainable development initiatives. [101] Local variability in rainfall patterns and/or reduced precipitation is known to occur, which may precipitate soil erosion, floods, droughts, land degradation and desertification. [102] In 2006, Eritrea also announced that it would become the first country in the world to turn its entire coast into an environmentally protected zone. The 1,347 km (837 mi) coastline, along with another 1,946 km (1,209 mi) of coast around its more than 350 islands, will come under governmental protection.

Wildlife Edit

Eritrea has several species of mammals and a rich avifauna of 560 species of birds. [103]

Eritrea is home to an abundant amount of big game species. Enforced regulations have helped in steadily increasing their numbers throughout Eritrea. [104] Mammals commonly seen today include the Abyssinian hare, African wild cat, Black-backed jackal, African golden wolf, Genet, Ground squirrel, pale fox, Soemmerring's gazelle, warthog. Dorcas gazelle are common on the coastal plains and in Gash-Barka.

Lions are said to inhabit the mountains of the Gash-Barka Region. There is also a small population of African bush elephants that roam in some parts of the country. Dik-diks can also be found in many areas. The endangered African wild ass can be seen in Denakalia Region. Other local wildlife include bushbuck, duikers, greater kudu, Klipspringer, African leopards, oryx and crocodiles. [105] [106] The spotted hyena is widespread and fairly common. Between 1955 and 2001 there were no reported sightings of elephant herds, and they are thought to have fallen victim to the war of independence. In December 2001 a herd of about 30, including 10 juveniles, was observed in the vicinity of the Gash River. The elephants seemed to have formed a symbiotic relationship with olive baboons, with the baboons using the water holes dug by the elephants, while the elephants use the tree-top baboons as an early warning system.

It is estimated that there are around 100 African bush elephant left in Eritrea, the most northerly of East Africa's elephants. [107] The endangered African wild dog (Lycaon pictus) was previously found in Eritrea, but is now deemed extirpated from the entire country. [108] In Gash-Barka, snakes like saw-scaled viper are common. Puff adder and red spitting cobra are widespread and can be found even in the highlands. In the coastal areas marine species that are common include dolphin, dugong, whale shark, turtles, marlin, swordfish, and manta ray. [106]

Climate Edit

Based on variations in temperature, Eritrea can be broadly divided into three major climate zones: the temperate zone, subtropical climate zone, and tropical climate zone. [109] The climate of Eritrea is shaped by its diverse topographical features and its location within the tropics. The diversity in landscape and topography in the highlands and lowlands of Eritrea result in the diversity of climate across the country. The highlands have temperate climate throughout the year. The climate of most lowland zones is arid and semiarid. The distribution of rainfall and vegetation types varies markedly throughout the country. Eritrean climate varies on the basis of seasonal and altitudinal differences.

Climate data for Eritrea in general, based on 14 cities
Month Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Year
Average high °C (°F) 27.3
(81.1)
28.3
(82.9)
29.8
(85.6)
32.3
(90.1)
33.3
(91.9)
33
(91)
32
(90)
31.5
(88.7)
32.3
(90.1)
31.8
(89.2)
30
(86)
28.3
(82.9)
31
(88)
Daily mean °C (°F) 20
(68)
20.8
(69.4)
22.5
(72.5)
24.3
(75.7)
25.6
(78.1)
26
(79)
25.1
(77.2)
24.7
(76.5)
24.4
(75.9)
23.8
(74.8)
22.1
(71.8)
20.5
(68.9)
23.3
(73.9)
Average low °C (°F) 17.8
(64.0)
17.3
(63.1)
18.3
(64.9)
21
(70)
23.3
(73.9)
24.4
(75.9)
24.4
(75.9)
24.5
(76.1)
23.3
(73.9)
22.3
(72.1)
20
(68)
18.3
(64.9)
20.8
(69.4)
Average precipitation mm (inches) 6.7
(0.26)
6.9
(0.27)
9
(0.4)
14.8
(0.58)
20.3
(0.80)
26.5
(1.04)
100
(3.9)
99.7
(3.93)
25.4
(1.00)
8.6
(0.34)
11.9
(0.47)
9.4
(0.37)
347
(13.7)
Source: weatherbase [110]

The People's Front for Democracy and Justice (PFDJ) is the only legal party in Eritrea. [111] Other political groups are not allowed to organize, although the unimplemented Constitution of 1997 provides for the existence of multi-party politics. The National Assembly has 150 seats. National elections have been periodically scheduled and cancelled none have ever been held in the country. [18] President Isaias Afwerki has been in office since independence in 1993. In 1993, 75 representatives were elected to the National Assembly the rest are appointed. As the report by the UN Human Rights Council explained: "No national elections have taken place since that time, and no presidential elections have ever taken place. Local or regional elections have not been held since 2003–2004.The National Assembly elected independent Eritrea’s first president, Isaias Afwerki, in 1993. Following his election, Afwerki consolidated his control of the Eritrean government." President Isaias Afwerki has regularly expressed his disdain for what he refers to as "western-style" democracy. In a 2008 interview with Al Jazeera, for example, the President stated that "Eritrea will wait three or four decades, maybe more, before it holds elections. Who knows?" [112]

National elections Edit

Given that the full implementation of the Joint Declaration of Peace and Friendship between Eritrea and Ethiopia is still incomplete, the Eritrean authorities still do not consider that peace agreement is formally implemented. However, local elections have continued in Eritrea. The most recent round of local government elections were held in 2010 and 2011.

Military Edit

The Eritrean Defence Forces are now the official armed forces of the State of Eritrea. Eritrea's military is one of the largest in Africa.

Compulsory military service was instituted in 1995. Officially, conscripts, male and female, must serve for 18 months minimum, which includes six months of military training and 12 months doing the regular school year to complete their last year of high school. Thus around 5% of Eritreans live in barracks in the desert doing projects such as road building as part of their service.

The National Service Proclamation of 1995 does not recognize the right to conscientious objection to military service. According to the 1957 Ethiopian penal code adopted by Eritrea during independence, failure to enlist in the military or refusal to perform military service are punishable with imprisonment terms of six months to five years and up to ten years, respectively. [113] National service enlistment times may be extended during times of "national crisis" since 1998, everyone under the age of 50 is enlisted in national service for an indefinite period until released, which may depend on the arbitrary decision of a commander. In a study of 200 escaped conscripts, the average service was 6.5 years, and some had served more than 12 years. [114]

Legal profession Edit

According to the NYU School of Law, the Legal Committee of the Ministry of Justice oversees the admission and requirements to practice law in Eritrea. Although the establishment of an independent bar association is not proscribed under Proclamation 88/96, among other domestic laws, there is no bar association. The community electorate in the local jurisdiction of the Community Court chooses the Court's judges. The Community Court's standing on women in the legal profession is unclear, but elected women judges have reserved seat. [115]

The Eritrean government previously withdrew its representative to the African Union to protest the AU's alleged lack of leadership in facilitating the implementation of a binding border decision demarcating the border between Eritrea and Ethiopia. The Eritrean government has since January 2011 appointed an envoy, Tesfa-Alem Tekle, to the AU. [116]

Eritrea maintains diplomatic ties with a number of other countries: it has over 31 embassies and consulates abroad, and over 22 consulates and embassies represented in the country, [117] including China, Denmark, Ethiopia, Djibouti, Israel, the United States and Yemen. Its relations with Djibouti and Yemen are tense due to territorial disputes over the Doumeira Islands and Hanish Islands, respectively.

On 28 May 2019, the United States removed Eritrea from the "Counterterror Non-Cooperation List" which also includes Iran, North Korea, Syria and Venezuela. [118] Moreover, Eritrea was visited two months earlier by a US congressional delegation for the first time in 14 years. [119]

Relations with Ethiopia Edit

The undemarcated border with Ethiopia is the primary external issue currently facing Eritrea. Eritrea's relations with Ethiopia turned from that of cautious mutual tolerance, following the 30-year war for Eritrean independence, to a deadly rivalry that led to the outbreak of hostilities from May 1998 to June 2000 which claimed approximately 70,000 lives from both sides. [120] The border conflict cost hundreds of millions of dollars. [121]

Disagreements following the war have resulted in stalemate punctuated by periods of elevated tension and renewed threats of war. [122] [123] [124] The stalemate led the President of Eritrea to urge the UN to take action on Ethiopia with the Eleven Letters penned by the President to the United Nations Security Council. The situation has been further escalated by the continued efforts of the Eritrean and Ethiopian leaders in supporting opposition in one another's countries. [ citation needed ] In 2011, Ethiopia accused Eritrea of planting bombs at an African Union summit in Addis Ababa, which was later supported by a UN report. Eritrea denied the claims. [125]

A peace treaty between both nations was signed on 8 July 2018. [126] The next day, they signed a joint declaration formally ending the Eritrean–Ethiopian border conflict. [127] [128]

Eritrea is divided into six administrative regions. These areas are further divided into 58 districts.

The regions of Eritrea are the primary geographical divisions through which the country is administered. Six in total, they include the Maekel/Central, Anseba, Gash-Barka, Debub/Southern, Northern Red Sea and Southern Red Sea regions. At the time of independence in 1993, Eritrea was arranged into ten provinces. These provinces were similar to the nine provinces operating during the colonial period. In 1996, these were consolidated into six regions (zobas). The boundaries of these new regions are based on catchment basins.

Transport in Eritrea includes highways, airports, railway, and seaports in addition to various forms of public and private vehicular, maritime and aerial transportation.

The Eritrean highway system is named according to the road classification. The three levels of classification are: primary (P), secondary (S), and tertiary (T). The lowest level road is tertiary and serves local interests. Typically they are improved earth roads which are occasionally paved. During the wet seasons these roads typically become impassable.

The next higher level road is a secondary road and typically is a single-layered asphalt road that connects district capitals together and those to the regional capitals. Roads that are considered primary roads are those that are fully asphalted (throughout their entire length) and in general they carry traffic between all the major cities and towns in Eritrea.

As of 1999, there is a total of 317 kilometres of 950 mm ( 3 ft 1 + 3 ⁄ 8 in ) (narrow gauge) rail line in Eritrea. The Eritrean Railway was built between 1887 and 1932. [129] [130] Badly damaged during WWII and in later fighting, it was closed section by section, with the final closure coming in 1978. [131] After independence, a rebuilding effort commenced, and the first rebuilt section was reopened in 2003. As of 2009, the section from Massawa to Asmara was fully rebuilt and available for service.

Rehabilitation of the remainder and of the rolling stock has occurred in recent years. Current service is very limited due to the extreme age of most of the railway equipment and its limited availability. Further rebuilding is planned. The railway linking Agordat and Asmara with the port of Massawa had been inoperative since 1978 except for about a 5 kilometre stretch that was reopened in Massawa in 1994. A railway formerly ran from Massawa to Bishia via Asmara, and is under re-construction.

Even during the war, Eritrea developed its transportation infrastructure by asphalting new roads, improving its ports, and repairing war-damaged roads and bridges as a part of the Wefri Warsay Yika'alo program. The most significant of these projects was the construction of a coastal highway of more than 500 km connecting Massawa with Asseb, as well as the rehabilitation of the Eritrean Railway. The rail line has been restored between the port of Massawa and the capital Asmara, although services are sporadic. Steam locomotives are sometimes used for groups of enthusiasts.

The IMF estimates Eritrea's GDP at $2.1 billion in 2020, or $6.4 billion on a PPP basis. [132] The economy grew at a 3.9% annual rate from 2010-2020, an improvement from the 1.3% annual rate from 2000-2010. The pickup in growth has been attributed to the commencement of full operations in the gold and silver Bisha mine, the production of cement from the cement factory in Massawa, [133] and investment in Eritrea's copper, zinc, and Colluli potash mining operations by Australian [134] and Chinese [135] mining companies.

Worker remittances from abroad are estimated to account for 32% of gross domestic product. [12]

70% of the Eritrean workforce is employed in agriculture, [136] accounting for roughly one-third of the economy. [137] Eritrea's main agricultural products include sorghum, millet, barley, wheat, legumes, vegetables, fruits, sesame, linseed, cattle, sheep, goats and camels. [138]

Tourism in Eritrea makes up less than 1% of the GDP.

Ethnic composition Edit

There are nine recognized ethnic groups according to the government of Eritrea. [18] [139] An independent census has yet to be conducted, but the Tigrinya people make up about 55% and Tigre people make up about 30% of the population. A majority of the remaining ethnic groups belong to Afroasiatic-speaking communities of the Cushitic branch, such as the Saho, Hedareb, Afar and Bilen. There are also a number of Nilotic ethnic groups, who are represented in Eritrea by the Kunama and Nara. Each ethnicity speaks a different native tongue but, typically, many of the minorities speak more than one language. The Rashaida represent about 2% of Eritrea's population. [3] They reside in the northern coastal lowlands of Eritrea as well as the eastern coasts of Sudan. The Rashaida first came to Eritrea in the 19th century from the Hejaz region. [140]

In addition, there exist Italian Eritrean (concentrated in Asmara) and Ethiopian Tigrayan communities. Neither is generally given citizenship unless through marriage or, more rarely, by having it conferred upon them by the State. Eritrea had about 760,000 inhabitants, including 70,000 Italians, in 1941. [141] Most Italians left after Eritrea became independent from Italy. It is estimated up to 100,000 Eritreans are of Italian descent. [142] [143]

Languages Edit

Eritrea is a multilingual country. The nation has no official language, as the Constitution establishes the "equality of all Eritrean languages". [1] Eritrea has nine national languages which are Tigrinya, Tigre, Afar, Beja, Bilen, Kunama, Nara, and Saho. Tigrinya, Arabic, and English serve as de facto working languages, with English used in university education and many technical fields. While Italian, the former colonial language, holds no government recognized status in Eritrea, it is spoken by a few monolinguals and Asmara has Scuola Italiana di Asmara, a long running Italian government-operated school. [144] Also, native Eritreans assimilated the language of the Italian Eritreans and spoke a version of Italian mixed with many Tigrinya words: Eritrean Italian. [145]

Most of the languages spoken in Eritrea belong to the Ethiopian Semitic branch of the Afroasiatic family. [146] Other Afroasiatic languages belonging to the Cushitic branch are also widely spoken in the country. [146] The latter include Afar, Beja, Blin, and Saho. In addition, Nilo-Saharan languages (Kunama and Nara) are spoken as a native language by the Nilotic Kunama and Nara ethnic groups that live in the western and northwestern part of the country. [146]

Smaller groups also speak other Afroasiatic languages, such as the newly recognized Dahlik and Arabic (the Hejazi and Hadhrami dialects spoken by the Rashaida and Hadhrami, respectively).

Religion Edit

According to the Pew Research Center, as of 2010 [update] , 62.9% of the population of Eritrea adheres to Christianity, 36.6% follows Islam, and 0.4% practices folk religion. The remainder observes Judaism, Hinduism, Buddhism and other faiths (<0.1% each), or are religiously unaffiliated (0.1%). [148] The U.S. Department of State estimates that, as of 2011 [update] , 50% of the population of Eritrea adheres to Christianity, 48% follows Islam, and 2% observes other religions, including traditional faiths and animism. [147] Christianity is the oldest world religion practiced in the country, and the first Christian monastery Debre Sina (monastery) was built during the 4th century. [149]

Since May 2002, the government of Eritrea has officially recognized the Eritrean Orthodox Tewahedo Church (Oriental Orthodox), Sunni Islam, the Eritrean Catholic Church (a Metropolitanate sui juris), and the Evangelical Lutheran church. All other faiths and denominations are required to undergo a registration process. [150] Among other things, the government's registration system requires religious groups to submit personal information on their membership to be allowed to worship. [150]

The 15th century Sheikh Hanafi Mosque in Massawa

The Eritrean government is against what it deems as "reformed" or "radical" versions of its established religions. Therefore, alleged radical forms of Islam and Christianity, Jehovah's Witnesses, and numerous other non-Protestant Evangelical denominations are not registered and cannot worship freely. Three named Jehovah's Witnesses are known to have been imprisoned since 1994 along with 51 others. [151] [152] [153] The government treats Jehovah's Witnesses especially harshly, denying them ration cards and work permits. [154] Jehovah's Witnesses were stripped of their citizenship and basic civil rights by presidential decree in October 1994. [155]

In its 2017 religious freedom report, the U.S. State Department named Eritrea a Country of Particular Concern (CPC). [156]

On 8 July 2017, the entire capital city of Asmara was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, with the inscription taking place during the 41st World Heritage Committee Session.

The city has thousands of Art Deco, futurist, modernist, and rationalist buildings, constructed during the period of Italian Eritrea. [157] [158] [159] [160] [161] [162] Asmara, a small town in the nineteenth century, started to grow quickly during 1889. [163] The city also became a place "to experiment with radical new designs", mainly futuristic and art deco inspired. [164] Even though city planners, architects, and engineers were largely European, members of the indigenous population were largely used as construction workers, Asmarinos still identify with their city's legacy. [165]

The city shows off most early 20th-century architectural styles. Some buildings are neo-Romanesque, such as the Church of Our Lady of the Rosary. Art Deco influences are found throughout the city. Essences of Cubism can be found on the Africa Pension Building, and on a small collection of buildings. The Fiat Tagliero Building shows almost the height of futurism, just as it was coming into big fashion in Italy. In recent times, some buildings have been functionally built which sometimes can spoil the atmosphere of some cities, but they fit into Asmara as it is such a modern city.

Many buildings such as opera houses, hotels, and cinemas where built during this period. Some notable buildings include the Art Deco Cinema Impero (opened in 1937 and considered by the experts one of the world's finest examples of Art Déco style building [166] ), Cubist Africa Pension, eclectic Eritrean Orthodox Enda Mariam Cathedral and Asmara Opera, the futurist Fiat Tagliero Building, the neoclassical Asmara city hall.

A statement from UNESCO read:

It is an exceptional example of early modernist urbanism at the beginning of the 20th century and its application in an African context.

Eritrea is a one-party state in which national legislative elections have been repeatedly postponed. [22] According to Human Rights Watch, the government's human rights record is considered among the worst in the world. [23] Most countries have accused the Eritrean authorities of arbitrary arrest and detentions, and of detaining an unknown number of people without charge for their political activism. Both male and female same-sex sexual activity is illegal in Eritrea. [167]

A prominent group of fifteen Eritreans, called the G-15, including three cabinet members, were arrested in September 2001 after publishing an open letter to the government and President Isaias Afewerki calling for democratic dialogue. This group and thousands of others who were alleged to be affiliated with them are imprisoned without legal charges, hearing, trial and judgment. [168] [169]

Since Eritrea's conflict with Ethiopia in 1998–2001, the nation's human rights record has been criticized at the United Nations. [170] Human rights violations are allegedly often committed by the government or on behalf of the government. Freedom of speech, press, assembly, and association are limited. Those who practice "unregistered" religions, try to flee the nation, or escape military duty are arrested and put into prison. [170] By 2009, the number of political prisoners was in the range 10,000–30,000, there was widespread and systematic torture and extrajudicial killings, with "anyone" for "any or no reason", including children eight years old, people over 80 years old and ill people, being liable to be arrested, and Eritrea was "one of the world's most totalitarian and human rights-abusing regimes". [171] During the Eritrean independence struggle and 1998 Eritrean-Ethiopian War, many atrocities were also committed by the Ethiopian authorities against unarmed Eritrean civilians. [172] [173]

In June 2016, a 500-page United Nations Human Rights Council report accused Eritrea's government of extrajudicial executions, torture, indefinitely prolonged national service (6.5 years on average) and forced labour, and indicated that sexual harassment, rape and sexual servitude by state officials are also widespread. [5] [174] Barbara Lochbihler of the European Parliament Subcommittee on Human Rights said the report detailed 'very serious human rights violations', and asserted that EU funding for development would not continue as at present without change in Eritrea. [175] The Eritrean Foreign Ministry responded by describing the commission's report as "wild allegations" which were "totally unfounded and devoid of all merit". [176] Representatives of the United States and China disputed the report's language and accuracy. [177]

All Eritreans aged between 18 and 40 years must complete a mandatory national service, which includes military service. This requirement was implemented after Eritrea gained independence from Ethiopia, as a means to protect Eritrea's sovereignty, to instill national pride, and to create a disciplined populace. [114] Eritrea's national service requires long, indefinite conscription (6.5 years on average), which some Eritreans leave the country in order to avoid. [114] [178] [179]

In an attempt at reform, Eritrean government officials and NGO representatives in 2006 participated in many public meetings and dialogues. In these sessions they answered questions as fundamental as, "What are human rights?", "Who determines what are human rights?", and "What should take precedence, human or communal rights?" [180] In 2007, the Eritrean government also banned female genital mutilation. [181] In Regional Assemblies and religious circles, Eritreans themselves speak out continuously against the use of female circumcision. They cite health concerns and individual freedom as being of primary concern when they say this. Furthermore, they implore rural peoples to cast away this ancient cultural practice. [182] [183] In 2009, a movement called Citizens for Democratic Rights in Eritrea formed to create dialogue between the government and political opposition. The group consists of ordinary citizens and some people close to the government. [184] Since the movement's creation, no significant effort has been made by the Eritrean government to improve its record on human rights.

In July 2019, UN ambassadors of 37 countries, including Eritrea, have signed a joint letter to the UNHRC defending China's treatment of Uyghurs and other Muslim minority groups in the Xinjiang region. [185]

Media freedom Edit

In its 2017 Press Freedom Index, Reporters Without Borders ranked the media environment in Eritrea at the bottom of a list of 180 countries. [186] According to the BBC, "Eritrea is the only African country to have no privately owned news media", [187] and Reporters Without Borders said of the public media, "[They] do nothing but relay the regime's belligerent and ultra-nationalist discourse. . Not a single [foreign correspondent] now lives in Asmara." [188] The state-owned news agency censors news about external events. [189] Independent media have been banned since 2001. [189] The Eritrean authorities had reportedly imprisoned the fourth highest number of journalists after Turkey, China and Egypt. [190]

Eritrea has achieved significant improvements in health care and is one of the few countries to be on target to meet its Millennium Development Goals (MDG) for health, in particular child health. [191] Life expectancy at birth increased from 39.1 years in 1960 to 66.44 years in 2020 [192] maternal and child mortality rates dropped dramatically and the health infrastructure expanded. [191]

The World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2008 found average life expectancy to be slightly less than 63 years, a number that has increased to 66.44 in 2020. [192] Immunisation and child nutrition have been tackled by working closely with schools in a multi-sectoral approach the number of children vaccinated against measles almost doubled in seven years, from 40.7% to 78.5% and the prevalence of underweight children decreased by 12% from 1995 to 2002 (severe underweight prevalence by 28%). [191] The National Malaria Protection Unit of the Ministry of Health registered reductions in malarial mortality by as much as 85% and in the number of cases by 92% between 1998 and 2006. [191] The Eritrean government has banned female genital mutilation (FGM), saying the practice was painful and put women at risk of life-threatening health problems. [193]

However, Eritrea still faces many challenges. Although the number of physicians increased from only 0.2 in 1993 to 0.5 in 2004 per 1000 people, this is still very low. [191] Malaria and tuberculosis are common. [194] HIV prevalence for ages 15 to 49 years exceeds 2%. [194] The fertility rate is about 4.1 births per woman. [194] Maternal mortality dropped by more than half from 1995 to 2002, but is still high. [191] Similarly, the number of births attended by skilled health personnel doubled from 1995 to 2002, but still is only 28.3%. [191] A major cause of death in newborns is severe infection. [194] Per-capita expenditure on health is low. [194]

There are five levels of education in Eritrea: pre-primary, primary, middle, secondary, and post-secondary. There are nearly 1,270,000 students in the primary, middle, and secondary levels of education. [195] There are approximately 824 schools, [196] two universities (the University of Asmara and the Eritrea Institute of Technology) and several smaller colleges and technical schools.

Education in Eritrea is officially compulsory for children aged 6 to 13 years. [195]

Education system in Eritrea [197]
Basic Education- 7 years
Middle - Junior High School (Years included in basic)
Secondary -Secondary School - 4 years
Post- secondary - Advanced Diploma - 3 years
Higher Education - Bachelor - 4/5 years
Higher Education - Master - 2 years

Statistics vary at the elementary level, suggesting that 70% to 90% of school-aged children attend primary school Approximately 61% attend secondary school. Student-teacher ratios are high: 45:1 at the elementary level and 54:1 at the secondary level. Class sizes average 63 and 97 students per classroom at the elementary and secondary school levels, respectively. Learning hours at school are often less than six hours per day.

Barriers to education in Eritrea include traditional taboos, school fees (for registration and materials), and the opportunity costs of low-income households. [198]

The Eritrea Institute of Technology "EIT" is a technological institute located near the town Himbrti, Mai Nefhi outside Asmara. The institute has three colleges: Science, Engineering and Technology, and Education. The institute began with about 5,500 students during the 2003-2004 academic year.

The EIT was opened after the University of Asmara was reorganized. According to the Ministry of Education, the institution was established, as one of many efforts to achieve equal distribution of higher learning in areas outside the capital city, Asmara. Accordingly, several similar colleges are also established in different other parts of the country. The Eritrea Institute of Technology is the main local institute of higher studies in science, engineering and education. The University of Asmara is the oldest university in the country and was opened in 1958. [200] It is currently not in operation.

The overall adult literacy rate in Eritrea is 76.6% (84.4% for men and 68.9% for women). For youth 15-24, the overall literacy rate is 93.3% (93.8% for men and 92.7% for women). [201]

One of the most recognizable parts of Eritrean culture is the coffee ceremony. [202] Coffee (Ge'ez ቡን būn) is offered when visiting friends, during festivities, or as a daily staple of life. During the coffee ceremony, there are traditions that are upheld. The coffee is served in three rounds: the first brew or round is called awel in Tigrinya (meaning "first"), the second round is called kalaay (meaning "second"), and the third round is called bereka (meaning "to be blessed").

Traditional Eritrean attire is quite varied among the ethnic groups of Eritrea. In the larger cities, most people dress in Western casual dress such as jeans and shirts. In offices, both men and women often dress in suits. A common traditional clothing for Christian Tigrinya highlanders consists of bright white gowns called zurias for the women, and a white shirt accompanied by white pants for the men. In Muslim communities in the Eritrean lowland, the women traditionally dress in brightly colored clothes. Besides convergent culinary tastes, Eritreans share an appreciation for similar music and lyrics, jewelry and fragrances, and tapestry and fabrics as many other populations in the region. [203]

Cuisine Edit

A typical traditional Eritrean dish consists of injera accompanied by a spicy stew, which frequently includes beef, chicken, lamb or fish. [204] Overall, Eritrean cuisine strongly resembles that of neighboring Ethiopia, [204] [205] though Eritrean cooking tends to feature more seafood than Ethiopian cuisine on account of their coastal location. [204] Eritrean dishes are also frequently "lighter" in texture than Ethiopian meals. They likewise tend to employ less seasoned butter and spices and more tomatoes, as in the tsebhi dorho delicacy.

Additionally, owing to its colonial history, cuisine in Eritrea features more Italian influences than are present in Ethiopian cooking, including more pasta and greater use of curry powders and cumin. The Italian Eritrean cuisine started to be practiced during the colonial times of the Kingdom of Italy, when a large number of Italians moved to Eritrea. They brought the use of pasta to Italian Eritrea, and it is one of the main foods eaten in present-day Asmara. An Italian Eritrean cuisine emerged, and common dishes are "pasta al sugo e berbere" (pasta with tomato sauce and berbere spice), lasagna, and "cotoletta alla Milanese" (veal Milanese). [206]

In addition to coffee, local alcoholic beverages are enjoyed. These include sowa, a bitter drink made from fermented barley, and mies, a fermented honey wine. [207]

Music Edit

Eritrea's ethnic groups each have their own styles of music and accompanying dances. Amongst the Tigrinya, the best known traditional musical genre is the guaila. Traditional instruments of Eritrean folk music include the stringed krar, kebero, begena, masenqo and the wata (a distant/rudimentary cousin of the violin). A popular Eritrean artist is the Tigrinya singer Helen Meles, who is noted for her powerful voice and wide singing range. [208] Other prominent local musicians include the Kunama singer Dehab Faytinga, Ruth Abraha, Bereket Mengisteab, the late Yemane Ghebremichael, and the late Abraham Afewerki.

Sports Edit

Football and cycling are the most popular sports in Eritrea. Cycling has a long tradition in Eritrea and was first introduced during the colonial period. [209] [210]

The Tour of Eritrea, a multi-stage cycling event, has been held annually since 1946 throughout the country.

The national cycling teams of both men and women are ranked first on the African continent, and Eritrea is ranked among the best cycling nations in the world. [211]

The Eritrea national cycling team has experienced a lot of success, winning the African continental cycling championship several years in a row. In 2013, the women's team won the gold medal in the African Continental Cycling Championships for the first time, and for the second time in 2015 and third time in 2019. The men's team have won gold 7 times in the last 9 years in the African continental cycling championships, between 2010 and 2019. [212] [213] [214] [215]

More than six Eritrean riders have signed professional contracts to international cycling teams, including Natnael Berhane and Daniel Teklehaimanot. Berhane was named African Sportsman of the Year in 2013, while Teklehaimanot became the first Eritrean to ride the Vuelta a España in 2012. [216] In 2015, Teklehaimanot won the King of the Mountains classification in the Critérium du Dauphiné. Teklehaimanot and fellow Eritrean Merhawi Kudus became the first black cyclists from Africa to compete in the Tour de France, when they were selected by the MTN–Qhubeka team for the 2015 edition of the race. [217] In July of the year, Teklehaimanot also became the first rider from an African team to wear the polka dot jersey at the Tour de France. [218]

Eritrean athletes have also seen increasing success in the international arena in other sports. Zersenay Tadese, an Eritrean athlete, formerly held the world record in the half marathon. [219] Ghirmay Ghebreslassie became the first Eritrean to win a gold medal at a World Championships in Athletics for his country when he took the marathon at the 2015 World Championships. [220] Eritrea made its Winter Olympic debut 25 February 2018, when they competed at the 2018 Winter Olympics in Pyeongchang, South Korea 2018. Eritrea's team was represented by their flagbearer Shannon-Ogbnai Abeda who competed as alpine skier. [221]


Best Historical Periods

Absolutely my favorite era in the history of mankind, with the Industrial Revolution at a close second. It lead us out of the Middle Ages and into the modern era. It's name means "Rebirth" after, all. Can't go wrong with that. It was the "Age of Enlightenment", when artists, mathematicians, physicians, and architects all thrived with creativity and ingenuity. Polymaths such as Leonardo the Vinci, William Shakespeare, Galileo Galilei, Michelangelo, Christopher Columbus and many more paved the paths that would lead us to the innovations we interact with today, as well as many of the cultures that surround us.

It was at this time when modern diplomacy began to develop, science and observation advanced in numerous ways, humanism started to dominate education and religion, music became a universal language, art blossomed into a variety of beautiful techniques, ideas became the gateways to modern invention and practice, and overall acted as a beacon that spread a unique and . more

I thought this was a "best" time period list. The Renaissance was the best for the world we know today. The middle ages should be nowhere near number one. They are called the dark ages for a reason. And if you do not know the reasons for which the obtained that title, study your history.

This is simply the best period seeing as it provides the basics for all modern knowledge. It was an insightful time in history just as the name suggest it was a "rebirth"

The rediscovery of the arts of Ancient Greece and Rome is absolutely amazing to learn about. The Medici family and Florence are especially interesting!

To see all these good commanders like Marius, Sulla, Caesar, Augustus, Hannibal and Alexander the Great would be absolutely amazing!

Basically there was the ancient romans, with all their art and education and laws and nice buildings and entertainment and ships and civilization, and that was cool, and then there were the sucky dark ages where people went back to living in mud huts. The ancient greeks were cool, plus they had all the cool myths and gods too. And what about the gladiators?

Ancient Greece and Rome were one of several classical periods of world history. Both provided substantial logic such as those of Socrates, Aristotle, Plato, Democritus, etc. Such vast amounts of knowledge and social organization booming during this period! It's a great time period in my opinion.

All the punic wars. These wars were like world wars of their times. The military history and knowledge of this time is fantastical. but the amount of advanced civilizations living in the world around the Mediterranean at this time is unbelievable. Each with a different way of life and system of government. these governments would influence the modern world we live in today. It was a time where people truly could change the world.

Very Very cool period: The Central and Strong East Muslims and the warring feudalist Cristians in the West gives a very interesting history.

The Middle Ages was definitely an interesting time period (I seriously would love to go to a Medieval inn) to learn about (the music also sounds cool), but not really the best because of wars like the Crusades and Hundred Years War (this was the war where guns and cannons were invented), gender inequality (women had no power in Medieval society), and where religion justifies actions.

I like this time period because it was just stabilizing a society and was improving in technology. It also had a very famous city in the Byzantine Empire call Constantinople the capital of Rome. Constantinople had a sewer system, and actually cared about its citizens. The homeless could do work, like sweeping the streets and other things for bread.

Classical society broke down. Centralized government and law disintegrated, leading to the rise of feudalism, the rise of the Roman Church, The Inquisition, and the Plague. What seems horrendous was actually the beginning of modern society. Learning did not perish.

Back to the Gladiators and Emperors period

This is a cool time period

I love the wars and fights!

The time of Ancient Egypt was one of the best in human history. So many innovations in science, maths, architecture etc. It was because of Egypt's timeline that Greece and Rome rose into power so show some respect. After all it will be fun to see the Pyramids which were the tallest structures in this timeline all they way to the Middle Ages.

So mysterious, and the religion at the time was so mixed and matched, and the sense of superiority was just crazy. Got to love the Egyptians.

With all the pyramids and pharaohs and mummies and stuff, you know it's gotta be good.

I visited Egypt it was honestly the best experience in my life!

The Roaring 20's would have to be my favorite time period. Modern America was born and many inspiring new ideas started. African Americans were given the chance to express themselves by singing and reciting poetry. Music was transformed and the community became full of art and inspiration. It was a peaceful time period and my favorite part would have to be the fashion. Women wore flapper dresses while men wore old style tuxes and bowties. Dancing was a fun form of entertainment and it helped open new doors for future decades. I honestly believe the 1920's was the best time period and I would love to go back in time to live there!

The 1920s were generally a decade of empowerment. A war had just been ended the troops had been dismissed. In New York, there was the Harlem Renaissance, and African Americans were having a chance to have voices in this world, to create art and have a community of art and inspiration surrounding them. Women everywhere in the US were starting to feel their power and know they could make an impact on the world. Women had just gotten their right to vote! This is also one of the few time periods when breasts weren't considered the epitome of sexiness. Flappers are great in general--the clothing, the music, the Charleston! The 1920s were exciting! Prohibition was alive and well, with asymmetrical sometimes-villains: did you know Al Capone opened up a soup kitchen? People were having fun! This is a decade of great culture.

Why would want the Middle Ages? It was called the Dark Ages for a reason. Plague, executions, and crime. Not the 20's. I mean, everyone was happy in the 20's, animation was on the rise, everyone was rich, new fancy gadgets like cars and television were coming out, and everyone was dancing to the Charleston. It was a roaring time, hence the name. Everything was perfect until 1929 and everyone was poor. Well, shoot. That was only 3 months of the Roaring Twenties though. I mean no one's gonna say the Depressing 30's the best time period. The Great Depression and the Rise of Hitler. Yeah, I'm sticking to the 20's.

This is when people knew how to party & have fun! Sexuality & sensuality was accepted, yet family values were still very much there. Fashion was fun. The movie business was really getting started.This was when glamour was invented. A really fun time in history, only draw back is you'd have to live through the 30's (Great Depression) & 40's (World War 2). It was an awesome decade though.

Many great explorers like Hudson and Cabot. Columbus really sucked though.

Hey it's jeff from the overwatch team here to discuss a new developper update

Love when new things were discovered.

The first giant hub for Christianity, Justinian I was a cool ruler, and over 70 languages were spoken in the empire!

Betrayals, alliances and big ethical questions. Just like in our time, I guess.

The time of the greatest philosophers

As a Muslim I would really love to be present in this time period because of its impactful inventions and discoveries. Many mathematicians and inventors who changed the world were alive in this time and I would love to meet them.

The Roman Greek knowledge lived up in this period as well as giving to new cool inventions and scientists like Avicenna and co. Amazing and the precursor to the Renaissance.

An era of stunning intellectual and cultural achievements. A blending of Arab, Egyptian, Persian, and European tradition.

The era of science, mass translations and humanity throughout the world but mainly focused in Baghdad and Spain.

The future before the future. World War 1 was best known in it's time for introducing new technology and tactics in war. They would end up inventing deadly chemicals as well as trenches.

T. E Lawrence got the Arab nations to unite against their Turk oppressors. He would then be known as Lawrence of Arabia

Also technically includes the Russian Revolution.

This is a dangerous period in history

I’m a big fan of pirates and would love to be one. In fact I have thought of some ship names to strike fear into the Spanish Armada and British Navy (and my rivals). These names are The Bloody Mary or The Devil’s Vessel. I would love to explore the Bahamas, Cuba and Jamaica. Also would love to free slaves and attack slave ships and then torture the slave traders (cause why not). Also would love to share some rum with Blackbeard and try to hijack a man o’ war with him.

Pirates of this time brought forth a turning point in history because they were some of the first advocates for equality and free will who succeeded.

Cutthroats, naval warfare, treacherous waters, unexplored islands, riches, and adventure. Yep. That just about does it.

Historic age of sailing!. Be a part of the great navies of the time and travel the oceans in its greatest age

The Digital ERA made the way for technology to grow in Earth. We are able to talk to people from thousands of miles away, also, we have new ways to think of society and new governmental systems.

Yesterday is history, tomorrow is a mystery and today is a gift that's why we call it the present.

I believe this is the era with the least amount of conflict and an era that which we can have the most amount of relaxation.

Yep, new technologies such as computers, cell phones and everyone had one!

Ahh yes the time of gunslingers, outlaws and bandits. Then again this was the time that civilisation was vastly growing and the law was increasingly becoming a thing with sheriffs, deputies and bounty hunters. I would be an outlaw gunslinger travelling across the country looking for fuels while also fleeing the law (basically Arthur Morgan from RDR2, Red Dead Redemption 2, which is one of the best games to ever come out in my opinion and prolly tons of other people)

Not just horses and cowboys but many interesting newly learned hobbies. Fishing is one of my favorite hobbies and it was so cool when during this time period they learned how to fish.

When you think of the Wild West, you think of good old cowboys shooting and robbing everyone. But it was so much more it was the turning point for North America people were moving west in search for land. It was a semi-peaceful time until the civil war and then the Spanish American war and the Filipino war. rather water devolved a lot from this period since most that moved were newlanders from England or Spain they had to learn hunting and fishing. Giving us a lot of knowledge and not only this but it was a time when America was still truly beautiful (naturally, I mean).

Red Dead Redemption, The good the bad and the ugly, Once Upon a Time in the West, American Civil ear, Indian (native american) wars, guns, religion, horses. And who can forget the hat and leather boots.

Very interesting period to study. Clothes looked cool but were probably uncomfortable to wear. Factories opened, and there was an increase in production, but children were worked all day long to produce things. There were breakthroughs in many areas and new laws. Etiquette rules were very strict.

19th century Britain is the essence of colonialism. The colonization of Africa, Britain's world affairs which affected the entire world. It was also the industrial period, where the entire world changed forever with the invention of machines.

Industrial Revolution, great scientists and philosophers, very interesting culture and way of life. Go ENGLAND!

Although the period for some was terrible, it moved away from social Darwinism and was the real start to an integrated world.

As a Chinese person I would like to see ancient china and places such as the forbidden city

The Ancient China time period is awesome! The architecture is amazing!

I love their clothes. especially women's. The music and makeup style are also interesting!

Stunning culture and a time that I so wish I could live in.

I voted this because it's an important time in history. And to everyone saying, "why do we need to learn about this. it isn't even important" it is really important and just because it isn't in america doesn't mean that its useless

The Mexican Revolution was one of the first revolutions to happen in Latin America, so it is definitely important to history

This is so stupid. We don't need to know about Mexican history

What the heck I hate this one too yet

Mind telling me what this is about?

A betrayal, epic battles, Samuria and Ninja!

Thigns. happend in the sengoku prieiod

Wait, the Japanese Civil war that lasted 100 years is a good time?

Bro, you and I have some different opinions on that.

Have fun with those angry guys with swords and matchlocks.

I think this is an interesting period of time

The most happening time period ever

Very very deadly my uncle was in it

My favorite time period because I absolutely love Vikings. I would love to become one as well and go on raids to places like England, Ireland and most of all take part in the raids of Paris. I would love to meet the famous Vikings Ragnar Lothbrok and his equally famous and mighty sons Ubbe Ragnarsson, Bjorn Ironside, Ivar the Boneless etc. Would also love to meet King Alfred the Great (who was one of if not the toughest enemy the Vikings faced as he repelled almost all Viking attempts at taking his kingdom of Wessex)

Very complex times for England. No one could stop and they have traveled almost the whole world trading and settling.

When the Norse would raid the wintry shores of England, looting and pillaging with their warbands!

A little bias, really into the T.V. show rn.

Philosophy, Democracy, Astronomy, Geometry, History - basically everything ending in y was invented by the Greeks!

I found this in my kitchen.

I absolutely love fashion! But agriculture is really important for the whole world itself.

The best era, with best fashion, best art, best architecture.

I LOVE this time. The styles were AMAZING!

The 1970's is the best era ever! Music, movies, fashion, food- it was all so very fantastic!

The birth of my parents and the true start of video games both happened in the 70s.

My best friend from high school was Mary Jane

Brilliant best for music adventure and girls

Alexander the Great’s empire. Great combination of cultures, particularly in Alexandria, Egypt, which housed the first lighthouse (tallest structure in the world at the time), museum, library, and zoo (I think).

The very first lighthouse was made during this time period!

American Life in the 1940s was a time of unity and a time of victory. Despite the war, this is one of the few times in American History were the whole country in united no matter your race. The cars are the best I have seen so far, along with the Music like the Andrew Sisters and Glenn Miller. City life was not as bad, along with country life. The Depression is over and America has recovered partially, Women now are more recognized an accepted in society and it is an excellent example of "team effort".

Has some of the most interesting dark personalities in history and variations of evil

Shows how state brainwashing can occur

Shows some of best tactical and technological developments e.g tanks 1915

Very VERY interesting. There are were new kinds of weapons, but loving during this time was horrible, especially being Jewish among others in Europe, particularly Germany. Actually, Stalin’s reign and oppression of Soviet Russia killed more people than the Holocaust. People talk about the Holocaust more because the events were videotaped as instructed by president Eisenhower, while nothing like that was used in Soviet Russia.

Some of the most interesting topics to me were the people who were hiding in Germany from the Gestapo because they were Jews (ex.: Anne Frank), or of the people who were trying to assassinate Hitler (ex.: Dietrich Bonhoeffer).

Not only did it have so many great philosophy, also great art and paintings.


The surviving victims of a 1997 bombing attack in downtown Jerusalem are demanding that the University of Chicago auction off ancient clay tablets belonging to Iran to pay for the damages.

The Iranian government is responsible for training the militant group - Hamas - who carried out the bombing at the Ben Yehuda mall, injuring and fatally wounding more than 100 civilians.

The ancient tablets were originally brought to the University of Chicago in 1937 for research purposes after American archaeologists discovered the 2500-year-old artifacts in Persepolis, the former capital of the Persian Empire.

Over time, approximately 37,000 of the artifacts have been studied and returned to Irans's Cultural Heritage and Tourism Organization and approximately 5,000 remain at the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute Museum.

In 2003, a United States District judge in Washington awarded the group more than $250 million in damages to be paid for by the Iranian government. The survivors suggest that the remaining clay tablets be sold by the University of Chicago to pay for their awarded damages.

The University of Chicago is arguing that governments cannot be sued by ordinary citizens.

A federal court ruling prohibits the transferring of any of the artifacts until the case is adjourned.



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