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More About That Mysterious Necklace

We're still trying to solve the mystery of the mysterious nuclear necklace of King Tut. Prehistoric humans roamed the Sahara, which is now the world's largest desert, for thousands of years before it became a desert. There are isolated ruins in the area that suggest that there may have been settled communities at one time, perhaps even extensive lost civilizations, although nothing on the scale of the Egypt of the Pharaohs.

Between about 14,000 and 13,000 years ago, the area was very dry. But a drastic switch in environmental conditions some 10,500 years ago brought rain and monsoon-like conditions.

About 7,000 years ago, the climate changed again, and there was a migration into Egypt, and sand covered whatever construction may have existed in the Sahara. Until the great drought, the Nile region was empty of people. Human beings, who evolved into hunter-gatherers on the African savanna, still preferred broad, grassy plains, which offered the easiest hunting.

The peoples of the Sahara brought with them a whole way of life that included the domestication of cattle, the preservation of food, and a highly developed social structure.

They also apparently brought some prized glass that had been created under extremely high heat. It is glass of the sort that appeared in the Nevada Desert at the Trinity Site after atomic bomb tests. It could also be created by a high-intensity meteor impact.

It is well known that some of the earliest Egyptian artifacts, among them diorite bowls, jars and cups that still defy explanation, are among the most advanced they produced.

Was a higher level of skill brought from the Sahara than we have realized? And was the area devastated not only by drought, but by a destructive meteor impact, or even by a war like the one described in ancient Hindu texts?

At present, there are no Saharan ruins that suggest the presence of a civilization as advanced as that of Egypt, but the very nature of the area makes archaeology extremely difficult. There is disputed evidence that constructed waterways existed in the eastern Sahara as recently as 4,000 years ago, but this is disputed by some archaeologists because the condition of the ruins are so poor. But it is generally accepted that human habitation of the area goes back at least 200,000 years.

We know, now, that the glass in Tut?s necklace came from the Sahara. But, as yet, we do not know how this rare superheated glass could have been created, or by whom?unless, of course, it might be meteoric.

Read about the waterways and the other remains in the Sahara click here

If YOU want to learn more about ancient Egypt, consult our resident expert William Henry, who sees the country--both anicent and modern--with new eyes.

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