By Sandor Alejandro Gerendas-Kiss
Published February, 2016
Here I am again, floating around the Sun, circling the Milky Way, trying guessing in my indefatigable routine their next steps. Between each turn about myself today I want to tell you to the Out of Africa II, the last great exodus of you the humans, the beginning of his great adventure, which began about 200,000 years ago in Africa, his birthplace. I am also thinking of the Cro-Magnon, the first modern European man appeared 40,000 years ago, whose cultural progress was very fast. Finally, I can’t fail to mention to the Würm, my last ice age ended 12,000 years ago. Three emblematic, different and distant temporary spaces between them, with you as its central characters.
Ah! But nothing compared to what came next: Egypt and Mesopotamia, the two splendid civilizations that saw flourish your imagination, massive creativity and knowledge, just a few thousand years after you left the caves. I not cease to amaze me that in such a short time to develop an immense capacity to dream and turn dreams into reality. His wisdom and determination rose to unimaginable heights. Planning, organization and creativity reached levels never before fantasized. In this land of pharaohs your revealed his admirable engineering and architecture works, as well as its splendid manifestations of art, advanced mathematical knowledge, coins and other means of change, complex social and religious organizations, along with a flood of inventions and discoveries, in an unprecedented qualitative leap. Never before in another time, had no other species in my surface achieved such progress.
Among the Clouds I turning and remembering that in Egypt the problem of soil exhaustion that occurred in other parts I resolved by the special features that flatters you with the Nile, which not only irrigated crops from year to year my bountiful waters, but renewed soil fertility with its contents. The river flooded with watch regularly each fall, bringing his amber sediments collected through his long journey. This special silt rested gently on my soil, flooded and fertilized generously. Enough with you throw some seeds in those fresh sludge, wait to grow plants and food could well reap in abundance. This condition was extraordinary for agriculture, especially for growing wheat and barley, which allowed you to supply the who founded numerous settlements along the banks of the “historic river”, as you name Nile. Thus his fellow cast strong roots, flourished and progressed into the splendid cities.
Most of you know that the Nile Valley, although stretched over nearly 4.400 miles, was a narrow band of between 10 and 36 miles wide, surrounded by vast deserts. This arid natural setting not allowed to retain the moisture produced by the annual floods. A few weeks after the water retreats, my soil cracked and hardened as a dried leather. To solve the problem, its ingenious ancestors cleared the muddy banks of the Nile, covered by marsh reeds and intricate tangled vegetation, gaining farmland to the thick mud. So the waters were domesticated by complicated engineering works, they learned to build dams, embankments, ponds, canals and irrigation systems. By having food and water throughout the year they could settle and multiply.
As I’m leaving the full moon in my persistent, slow and smooth rotation, it comes to my mind Mesopotamia, which also showed more than his wits and skills, leaving many legacies to their offspring over three millennia of history. Did you know that there was no Mesopotamian itself, as if an Egyptian? … Well, I will say you that in that fertile territory in a large period acted Sumerians, Akkadians, Amorites, Canaanites, Babylonians, Gutians, Hurrians, Mitanis and Persians. Why everybody loves Mesopotamia? … Did not know? For the “land between the rivers” as he named his Greek ancestors, was a very fertile and suitable for life region located mostly in the area that is now Iraq, between the historical Tigris and Euphrates rivers.
The first sedentary settled in the region, about 10,000 B.C., occupying the northern area, the rest remained uninhabited. These ancient his relatives inaugurated the Neolithic to practice agriculture and farming. 5,000 years B.C. it had a very advanced culture of his time, called El Obeid, possible predecessor to the Sumerian civilization, located on my land you called Sumer. As you know, these intelligent and industrious pioneers developed methods of water conservation, knew pottery, brass instruments, bricks and the potter’s wheel, although the invention of the wheel corresponded to the Sumerians, around 3,500 BC, like the invention of writing and the first literary, written on clay tablets with cuneiform scripts. The most famous work of your ancestors is the Legend of Gilgamesh, poem written in the early second millennium before his era. The Sumerians were great merchants, authentic societies of traders and businessmen. When the Egyptians did not yet know more than the exchange of goods by barter, Sumerian had created a simple monetary system. As for writing, it was born as a need to shore up their commercial and legal transactions.
In one of many invasions at country of two rivers arrived others Homo sapiens: The Amorites from Syria. This occurred between 2,000 and 1,800 B.C., and within a century, which for me is like a second, filled numerous kingdoms of Mesopotamia, they instituted a dynasty of kings in Babylon, a city imposed its dominance. One of their kings was Hammurabi, who began his reign in 1782 B.C., and universalized by the famous code that bears his name. The Babylonians were bequeathed to you the division of the week into seven days, the day into 24 hours, the hours into 60 minutes and the minute into 60 seconds. After three millennia, and despite his advanced science and technology, you have failed to find a better system than that proposed by the smart Babylonians. The months were 29 or 30 days and to make up the difference with my orbits around the sun, some years have 13 months. Each month was devoted to one of the signs of the zodiac and the extra month was assigned the raven, which was considered as a sign of misfortune. Superstitions also inherited, both at 13 and for the black bird.
When in the mountains of Armenia, origin of Tigris and Euphrates, began the spring snowmelt, the water is coming out of their banks, flooding the plains and fertilizer deposited material. But it occurred in a less convenient time as in Egypt, as the grain of wheat was still immature, which forced him to deploy huge efforts to prevent water sweep their crops before harvest. To complicate the matters, these lands in summer suffering from sweltering heat that burn plants. His Sumerians grandparents did not give up, they strengthened his brain and as a result made major engineering works, tamed the capricious currents of the twin rivers and built complex irrigation systems. Mesopotamia eventually became the breadbasket of East and his reputation far exceeded borders. Even Herodotus was astonished by the large production capacity of these soils, which yielded six or seven times more than the Greeks. Did you know that a hundred years after the disappearance of Babylon, the great Greek historian was no superlatives to describe the generosity of land nestled in the Mesopotamian region?
These mega constructions, the first surgeries performed on my skin, both in Egypt and Mesopotamia, led to the multiplication of men and women everywhere, but otherwise were destroying the natural habitat of other species. In the case of Nile eco-region, hippos, crocodiles and abundant minor wildlife were displaced from their natural habitats occupied for millennia the large river. While in Mesopotamia fauna and flora of Tigris and Euphrates ran the same fate. In both cases you started your intervention about me and affected the lives they stayed for hundreds of millions of years ago in the thin, and fragile vital sphere that you called biosphere.
These surgeries not represent primitive but insignificant scratches for me, but from then its activities have increased too fast and disproportionately. Those ancestral interventions have mutated into a real takeover of the planet by you, as if you were own of my air, soil and water, and the worst, of all life that is in them. His frenetic activities have multiplied the length and breadth of my curves, aggravated in the last century for their emissions of greenhouse gases that have led to global warming and its consequences as climate change. These unexpected events are a threat for me, especially for the speed with them were presented, of which with my geological timing are impossible to measure. These phenomena are a real threat that seem to announce a big chaos throughout the biosphere, endangering the lives of everyone, including yours and mine, because if you do not know, without you and the other species and even I would be the same. The Earth is a “living planet”, have said some humans, and in this I agree with them, because life and I really are inseparable. Lifeless on my surface I would not live and then I would become a dead planet, like so many others.
They still have time to rectify. With his intelligence and willingness could do. So be it.