Civilization or Barbarism – Weaponry from Kemet to the Bomb

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Is it not interesting that ancient Egypt with all of its technological advancement and economic might produced pyramids ,the building of which has baffled people enough to include them as one of the ‘wonders’ of the world, yet no significant weapon came out of ancient Egypt.

The ancient Egyptains built pyramids that remain an enigma to this very day yet they fought with bows and arrows and swords as weapons. Clearly war wasn’t their major preoccupation. The same is true for the other ancient civilizations such as Sumer and India.

Western technological advancement has either been for military purposes or emanated from the military. Clearly war is a major part of their civilization.

Pharaoh Tutankhamun riding a chariot to war.
Pharaoh Tutankhamun riding a chariot to war.
Weaponry in Ancient Egypt.
Weaponry in Ancient Egypt.
Weaponry in Western Civilization.
Weaponry in Western Civilization.

34 COMMENTS

  1. I have been considering your post on materialism since yesterday and this also ties in with it. What we could step back and examine is the instinct to destroy, annihilate, subjugate, enslave that exists in westerners to abnormal heights.

    This instinct also means they are unable to leave other countries alone even today they always have to be invading, meddling, diddling, observing people’s elections, in control of any treaty….

  2. It has been said that the Caucasian is by came from a very hostile and he the s essentially predatory by nature

    • No. He said they originates from a place called the caucausus mountains that was over inhospitable was very cold and had few resources

  3. Atiga Atingdui But it would also depend on what you mean by a ‘significant weapon’. What weapons are you expecting? I dont think you would be expecting today’s form of technologically advanced weapons. But they clearly had their own ‘tools’ they could use in wars. Probably, one may also find difficulties comparing the two types of wars, as well as the motivation and purpose that went into them…….

  4. Cheikh Anta Diop said: Africa developed gunpowder, and the smelting of steel, but the Caucasian cast canons out of it. It’s the way people think.

    Diop also unveiled this: The Egyptians were so little white that when they encountered a white person with red hair, they killed him immediately as a sick person unable to adapt to life. (The African Origins of Civilization, pg 240)

    This was certainly a regrettable but comprehensible prejudice between two different races during those remote epochs of history. The Egyptians quickly learned that they had to change and teach these whites civilization. Oh, but did they fail terribly at this enterprise?

    So, the import here, the consideration here, might be worth keeping in mind: They are completely sick, unable to adapt to life as we know it. Hence they want to destroy this life and create for themselves an artificial one. We were forewarned. The weapons are the means by which they achieve this.

  5. “So, the import here, the consideration here, might be worth keeping in mind: They are completely sick, unable to adapt to life as we know it. Hence they want to destroy this life and create for themselves an artificial one. We were forewarned. The weapons are the means by which they achieve this.”

    • lol Brett Muir I don’t know why you are trying to pin on me a statement made by another person. I wrote a summary in the preamble of this thread, those are my words. You haven’t commented on those words yet.

    • I’m kinda curious how deep yours, or perhaps generally, the perception of difference is merely superficial to the peoples in the respective areas you point out, or it is to the very nature of the peoples. In the former, the peoples are equals, with merely a change in thinking or culture or some such would change fortunes, or are they unequals and nothing able to close the gap in the latter? Swap the races, and the discussion is indistinguishable from the vile racist rants for the most part driven from the public square generations ago. Is this racism still institutionalized there as well?

    • Well sometimes people yell ‘racism’ to preclude any further objective discussion of facts. I tend to want to discuss facts, data and evidence and less about innuendos…..

    • Quite so – certain sectors make the race card their go-to rebuttal. I noticed that the geographic regions you put were translated to genetics/race, and wonder if you concur:

      “Cheikh Anta Diop said: Africa developed gunpowder, and the smelting of steel, but the Caucasian cast canons out of it. It’s the way people think.

      Diop also unveiled this: The Egyptians were so little white that when they encountered a white person with red hair, they killed him immediately as a sick person unable to adapt to life. (The African Origins of Civilization, pg 240)

      This was certainly a regrettable but comprehensible prejudice between two different races during those remote epochs of history. The Egyptians quickly learned that they had to change and teach these whites civilization. Oh, but did they fail terribly at this enterprise?

      So, the import here, the consideration here, might be worth keeping in mind: They are completely sick, unable to adapt to life as we know it. Hence they want to destroy this life and create for themselves an artificial one. We were forewarned. The weapons are the means by which they achieve this.”

    • It is well established that the ancient Egyptians, Sumerians and Indians were Black. The evidence for that assertion would take us beyond the scope of this thread.

      This thread is simply about how ancient Black civilizations organized their societies in ways that placed relatively little attention to the science of warfare in comparison to western civilizations.

    • Whatever they were, I’ll go with whatever you want to say. I’m more curious about the perspective of racial superiority/inferiority, eg racism: “They are completely sick, unable to adapt to life as we know it.” Are certain races significantly inferiorior or superior, whether based in the physical(genetics) or metaphysical (created and/or inherently good/evil)?

    • Well that answer would have to come from the author of that statement. I have no opinion on the matter.

    • Fair enough. I wont press you to acknowledge or deny racist perspectives. But as another mentioned, you may find you’re cherrypicking multiple data sets to support your conclusion.

    • I fail to be persuaded by the assertion that I have cherry-picked my data. I simply made the statement that given the technologically advanced society of ancient Egypt their weaponry doesn’t match their sophistication as a society. For people who could lift over 2 million stones, each weighing 2-4 tons, and place them on top of each other to great heights and yet make war with bows and arrows to me is quite revealing.

    • Again, fair enough…The same assessment can be made to all the civilizations of the seven woders if the world. Heck, that criteria also pulls in Stonehenge Britains, Easter Islanders, etc. None had much beyond swords and bows. But even more so, the Egyptian war chariots and ships were perhaps more sophisticated than any weaponry of any of those other civilizations, making the Egyptians the most warmongering.

      Again, statements like:

      “Western technological advancement has either been for military purposes or emanated from the military. Clearly war is a major part of their civilization.”

      Seems to ignore Western medicine from which diseases have been eradicated around the world, medical devices and equipment, drugs, etc that have directly raised global life expectancy and standard of living. And then there’s transportation advances, communication advances, geologic/cosmic/etc science advances, etc that overwhelmingly came from non-military research from the 16th century onward, from which as side-effect some has found military application, inasmuch as they have found academic applications, medical applications, commercial applications, etc.

    • I hope you do know that just because a monument is located in Europe doesn’t mean it is part of European civilization? Easter Islanders in ancient times were dark skinned people as well.

      There is very little that could be called western civilization prior to ancient Greece so labeling monuments and cultures prior to that time as ‘western’ could be a bit misleading.

      I am not discounting scientific advancement under western civilization. I am comparing the relative investment in gadgets of warfare to civilian investments in ancient and current civilizations.

    • I don’t care where it was – you criteria proved too much or cherrypicked – civilizations around the world were moving large stones, and if we look at the relativeness to war technology, Egyptians were comparatively the most advanced, not least. Furthermore, I would question what’s so great about the Egyptian pyramids? Ok, they’re the biggest pyramids. Functionally, while all the other structures around the world benefited the whole society, from keeping out invaders or charting agriculture/religious seasons or whatnot, the pyramids were effectively massive tombstones fir individuals that took millions of manhours that could have been used more productively, perhaps even have been used to advance them enough to prevent downfalls.

    • You are not getting the thrust of my assertions. Yes you are right that civilizations all over the world were moving large stones and none of them developed sophisticated war technology or invested as much in it as they did in other sectors such as construction. I could have easily picked those civilizations as well, it wouldn’t have made any difference as the answer or conclusion would be the same: ancient Black civilizations invested relatively little in war technology.

      As for your diatribe against the purpose of the pyramids you are simply speculating. We do not know for sure why they were built, and in any case it lends no benefit to the issue at hand. In fact you make my point when you say they spent millions of man-hours that they could have used in building or inventing war technology but they didn’t. That is my point exactly.

    • “ancient Black civilizations invested relatively little in war technology.”
      One could say the same about many people groups around the world. Putting all the eggs in one basket, of pacificism, ignores many other baskets: lack of scientific foundation for technology, population densities, natural resources, etc, etc, etc. Diamond’s “Guns, Germs, and Steel” is a good resource on such multitudinous factors.

      As for the pyramids, the burial chambers point to their singular purpose. And no, I’m not making your point, in that beyond your singular focus in war, that the culture also didn’t spend it on technology for agriculture, medicine, scientific research, etc.

    • ” lack of scientific foundation for technology, population densities, natural resources, etc, etc, etc.”

      Now you are losing me. How can societies you and I agree moved object weighing several tons “lack foundation for technology”??? Whatever their population density, natural resources etc etc it was sufficient for them to build structures that necessitated a relatively deep scientific knowledge, knowledge which they could have used to develop sophisticated weaponry.

      As for the purpose for the pyramids it is a distraction as I said earlier. Whatever their purpose the Egyptians felt it more important to focus on their construction than on weaponry. You say the society didn’t invest on agriculture either. This highlights a certain level of ignorance on your part my friend. In fact the whole foundation for these early civilizations was the revolution that occurred in agriculture that allowed the people to live sedentary lives instead of hunting and gathering. The practice of husbandry and crop farming made civilizations possible not hunting and gathering. In fact ancient Egyptians grew a myriad of crops exhibiting great diversity and advancement in agricultural science. Irrigation and drainage technology were quite advanced. The ax, hoe and plow are actually Egyptian inventions. Are you aware that to protect the loss of their crops various insectivorous birds were protected by the State? Gardens in ancient Egypt was the birth place of horticulture and it wasn’t uncommon for Pharaohs to send expeditions to foreign lands for the purpose of bringing back exotic plant life.

      With regard to medicine they invested enough technology to engage in SURGERY!They even wrote a treatise about how to diagnose and perform complex surgeries long before western civilizations.

    • I don’t doubt they had some level – my point is that the millions of manhours were diverted away from further advancement. Their society fell, which might have been averted otherwise.

      *Some* Egyptians felt the luxurious tombs were more important. Much like today, where state heads, Africa included, divert state funds for their luxurious lifestyles, including fleets of cars and such to ministers of even middling rank … all the while the complaint is heard of technology in particular and society in general is stagnating if not deteriorating from it. It appears not much has changed in three thousand years.

    • Your assertions are true of today’s Africa but doesn’t fit the narrative for yesterday’s Africa. One only has to look at the emigration paths to determine which ancient economies did better than others. Ancient Egypt, unlike today’s Africa, experienced a net inflow of migrants. In fact neighboring states would often depend on the food grown in Egypt to mitigate effects of droughts in their own territories.

      Then you can look at the writers and how key figures saw ancient Egypt as the super power of the day. You see, in those days Egypt wasn’t part of a ‘dark’ continent. Nor were her people considered backwards. I do agree that megalomania existed then as it does today but the economy of Egypt provided better opportunities for people than most African countries do today. One reason for that is everybody was guaranteed capital in the form of land and that was really all one needed to get by.

    • One needn’t preclude the other. For example, in the story of Joseph, we see immigration into Egypt – not because they were a superpower or were technologically advanced, but merely because things were worse where they came from, namely famine, but war, pestilence, or whatnot could have been a cause. I could even agree that Egypt was the cat’s meow at one point, but fell nonetheless, and relatively quickly dissipated any semblance of glory it had. Why? How? I would say the reason is the same as today, with the needs of the upper few outweighing the needs of the general many, of which the pyramids to me stand as stark examples. Are they wonders of the world? Sure. Could that massive diversion of resources have gone to much better needs of society, perhaps with repercussions to a better region or even Africa today, if nothing else than a tempering of elitist hubris? Imho, an argument could be made.

  6. My Opinion? Ban all weapons of mass destruction. Anything that can kill 100s of people at a time is a travesty to nature! Ban these things! They serve no purpose!

  7. I have heard that Weapons are the Compensation for a lack in size of the Phallus. This is just phallus envy! The bigger the weapon, the more the compensation. Some have clearly overcompensated.

    • This is a very interesting contribution, after all. Functionality though is just the icing on the cake. Size, on the first hand, fundamentally is what matters!

    • No one overcompensates for Functionality. It doesn’t arouse in me any form of jealousy even. But, size, wheeuuu…. oh it does. Size matters! Fundamentally there is something ultimately macho about size – the bigger the better. Plus, I have never heard of a size so big that it lacks functionality. The functionality argument is an another compensation for the lack of size. I might add, it’s overcompensation.

  8. Mr. Dade Afre Akufu, no! I haven’t been addressed. I’ll mind my own business until at which point, if I am directly addressed about my comments, then I will proceed to offer an education. A friend of mine once wrote:

    “Many genocides have been glorified (or planned) around dinner tables adorned with shiny forks and knives made from actual silver, without a single inappropriate or illegitimate or uncivil act or speech having occurred.”

    I prefer to use words as they are. I understand some may not like it. But, err, I do no tolerate beating about the bush. So, if I am addressed, I will be obliged to lay down my education. Until then, as they say in Ga, I will keep an ear out.

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