Camel

Where are the camels in ancient Egyptian drawings?

3,500,000 BCE

Source: Marcell Fóti

Recently, someone drew my attention to a video featuring our fellow humans who appeared to be scientists (black background, mysterious lighting) discussing that the fossilization of dinosaur bones might not have taken hundreds of millions of years but could have taken just 1-2 years.

Frankly, I haven’t looked into it, and it doesn’t really interest me. But another topic came to mind: the camel.

The camel, the ship of the desert. The ruler of the Sahara and a great survivor, shaped by evolution into what it is: wide feet for moving on sand, a fat hump for storing food, highly efficient insulating fur (camel hair coats, sweaters, scarves), and so on. We all know this.

However, the ancient Egyptians were conspicuously silent about the camel’s central role in their society. They kept this a secret, just like the construction methods of the pyramids.

Or perhaps the camel wasn’t present in the region during the Old Kingdom?

We usually don’t think about the fact that in this area, evolution didn’t have millions of years but just a few hundred years to create the camel, as the green Sahara, according to today’s calculations, became an uninhabitable desert in just a few hundred years.

And not even that long ago, about 5,000 years ago.

Oops!

How do we resolve this contradiction?

Oh, it’s quite simple: let’s find the true place of origin of the camel, where it had millions of years to develop. What could this place be?

According to current scientific knowledge, the camel evolved either on the Arabian Peninsula or in North Africa in desert regions.

But we just said that North Africa (the Sahara and Egypt) wasn’t a desert. So that leaves the Arabian Peninsula. Where there also wasn’t a desert of sufficient size or duration to allow an animal as large and specialized as the camel to evolve.

We’ve stumbled upon the usual story: the official explanation is nonsense. We need to look further. Beyond the Arctic Circle.

In 2006, Natalia Rybczynski, a paleobiologist at the Canadian Museum of Nature, was “vacationing” on Canada’s Ellesmere Island. This island is well beyond the Arctic Circle, on the same latitude as northern Greenland, so it’s not exactly an ideal tourist paradise, but hey, tastes differ.

Remember, we argued last time about whether climate change exists or not. Okay, I concede, it doesn’t, but 3-million-year-old bones surfaced on Ellesmere Island in 2006. Someone must have been wandering around with a flamethrower, causing this to happen.

In any case, while walking, Natalia noticed some strange bones on the ground and, given that bones were her specialty, immediately recognized them as camel bones.

She first thought of hidden cameras and pranks since her friends knew she was going there and might have scattered the camel bones to trick her. The idea that these could be the remains of an ancient, now-extinct polar camel didn’t even cross her mind.

But she was wrong; the bones were real. As investigations revealed (using biochemical collagen dating), these were the bones of a camel that lived and died during the Pliocene epoch 3.5 million years ago.

Now come the questions: what was that camel doing there? Was there a desert in that place 3.5 million years ago? No, there wasn’t. It was a snowy, icy landscape, just like it is now.

So, is the camel not the ship of the desert?

Indeed, it isn’t! The camel’s foot is perfectly adapted for walking on snow, its thick fur coat is excellent for surviving in icy conditions, and it carries its food in its hump.

As it turns out, the camel was originally the ship of the snowy plains, not the desert.

But then how did it end up in the Sahara? And more importantly: when?

To answer this, we need to look at the picture of the Queen of Morocco, Princess Lalla Salma.

Why?

Because she’s a red-haired, tech-savvy bombshell who obviously doesn’t look local with her red hair and greenish-brown eyes.

Which northern country did the Moroccan king import his wife from? Not from the north. But from the Moroccan highlands, the Atlas Mountains.

The Moroccan queen is a member of a local tribe, the Berbers. Despite mixing with local tribes over the millennia, the genes for light eyes and red hair still find their way through, making the Moroccan queen one of the most Berber-like Berbers in the world. Zero hair dye.

The Berbers are Vikings. Descendants of those Vikings who roamed this area once upon a time. Because where didn’t they?

Has there been such a DNA study? You bet! There has!

“Genetic research has shown that the Berbers’ genetic makeup is very complex and comes from multiple sources. According to mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) studies, most Berbers’ maternal lineage originates from Western Eurasia, with the oldest mitochondrial line dating back to the Paleolithic, about 30,000 years ago, representing the U6 haplogroup​.”

Now, this is mostly in scientific jargon, but one detail might stand out: Western Eurasia, a.k.a. Western Europe. These are Vikings, indeed.

So now its easy: the Vikings brought the camel to the Sahara region from the north. When? No one knows.

But if we think a bit, we realize it couldn’t have been that long ago. There’s no point in bringing the ship of snow to a region with normal flora and fauna. The camel was brought when the Sahara had already become a desert.

And that wasn’t too long ago. Only 5,000 years ago.

This is also evidenced by the fact that the camel, as a domestic animal, only appeared in Egypt around 1000 BC. And what wasn’t there earlier couldn’t have been documented or depicted by the ancient Egyptians.

That’s all about the camel. Everyone get back to work.

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