Archive - March 30, 2011

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Review of Mary Acosta's History Begins in Africa

Review of Mary Acosta's History Begins in Africa

History Begins in Africa by Mary Acosta (Afghanistan 1964–66) Birds Nest Publishing $29.95 385 pages December 2010 Reviewed by Shlomo Bachrach (Ethiopia Staff 1966-68) THE CLAIM IN MARY ACOSTA’S TITLE is a bit more modest than the one made by the paleoanthropologists who locate all human origins in the Danakil and the Awash Valley in eastern Ethiopia. But she’s plenty bold: she says that written history begins with a bronze plaque reporting the victory of Terkinos, a king from what is Ethiopia today, over Melmanios, the next to last ruler of Uruk, a major city in Sumer, which became Babylon, which became Iraq in modern times. (Gilgamesh, for those who recognize the name, was a king in Uruk a few centuries after the events she writes about.) Acosta dates her insights into history on material on two plaques that refer to events in the 4th millennium BC. History begins there, . . .

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