Historical experience .. Grain storage technology protects Egyptian state from global famine

“We will go back to the days of our master Youssef.” This sentence was mentioned yesterday by President Abdel Fattah El-Sisi during the opening of the “Egypt’s future” project for agricultural production, while he spoke about the importance of the project of silos that store food commodities and grain, which in recent years in Egypt has been implemented, to ensure the safe and modern preservation and storage of food, especially wheat and maize, in the face of the global food crisis along with severe environmental changes.

That historical connection between the story of the prophet of God Yusuf and his wise management of the treasuries of the earth to get out of famine, according to the Koranic narrative, and the development of the Egyptians’ abilities since the ancient crisis in the storage of grain and food, attracted the pioneers of social networking sites and shed light on Egypt’s handling, at different times, with crises The lack of food, which has long threatened the world and affected its history, and the course of political and demographic events in various parts of the world.

As long as great famine was an important part of world history, and greatly affected the stability of ancient societies politically, economically and socially, Egypt sometimes fell between its claws, although at other times with its good governance and advance preparations could survive. and succeeded in bringing about security for its people, supporting its power and expanding its influence Political, intellectual and scientific environment.

This paradox in the Egyptian handling of climate crises appears in two important historical stages, the first is the famine of the 22nd century BC, which led to the collapse of the ancient Egyptian kingdom, and the second is in the handling of the “Sea Peoples” . crisis, which hit ancient societies in the eastern and southern Mediterranean in the 12th and 13th centuries BC.

The oldest famine that affected the history of Egypt and the world 4,200 years ago, according to some scholars’ predictions, resulted in a severe environmental change, leading to a major food crisis in the 22nd century BC, and the successive cause collapse of societies. of the oldest civilizations on earth, including the ancient Egyptian kingdom.The Akkadian state in Iraq, the Indus civilization, as well as some ancient kingdoms in China.

This wave of great drought was the subject of a report published by the well-known British magazine Nature, in which it talked about the famous environmental changes that hit the world in ancient times and rearranged its political, social and economic newspapers.

And the magazine “Nature”, in its report, said that it is not possible, despite the chance, to confirm the history of the occurrence of famine in those ancient times, or to talk about the environmental, political and social causes or consequences thereof, due to the difficulty in interpreting the indirect data provided by climate scientists, as well as the difficulty in linking it to the exact date.

She noted that the uranium dating method, which relies on radioactive decay, can give dates of dubious validity, meaning that it is not accurate enough to rely on documenting historical events.

It quoted Stacey Caroline, a paleoclimatologist at the University of Cambridge in the UK, as saying: “What has happened is that many of the records used to describe a global event that took place 4,200 years ago was not originally intended for this type of analysis, “which means that many of those records are relevant. Low resolution, and no dateable markers near the time of the event.

Nature has also noted that scientists strongly disagree about the nature of what happened 4,200 years ago, despite the likely occurrence of a drought that nearly led to regional famine in the Middle East and the Mediterranean basin, and perhaps even a global famine, especially since the impact of the famine possibly extended to several regions of the world that were known at the time.

According to geneticist Nathaniel Jenson, human societies are unlikely to have flourished so extensively in the 13th century BC far from the regions of the Middle East, the Mediterranean basin and North Africa, meaning a possible drought that hit this region has. may have practically influenced the world, which was known at the time.

On the spread of one of the most influential famines in history, archaeologist Harvey Weiss was quoted by Nature as saying, “We have Mesopotamia, the Nile, the Aegean Sea, the Mediterranean Sea as far as Spain,” adding that all those places , 4 200 years ago, exposed to a wave of arid climate, which led to the collapse of the central authorities, and moved people in search of fertile lands.

Weiss explains that the collected records from around the world show a great drought in that period, and explains that this event was not only limited to Egypt and its environs, but reached the Americas, and its consequences extended to the state Colorado in the United States. States and even to South America itself.

Nature has indicated that there is evidence that this wave of drought and desertification has crept into India, the Arabian Peninsula, North Africa, the rest of the Mediterranean countries and the Middle East.

She noted that this may have affected the stable societies on the outskirts of the big countries, as well as the city-states, which were widespread at the time, and that their people might have been forced to migrate to those countries in search of food, which led put pressure on the large civilized societies, which were unable to provide food for the world. Together, as well as dealing with the turmoil in her local communities, she collapsed under the weight of this simultaneous pressure.

According to approved Egyptian history, the famine began in 1708 BC, and many lands and cities may have collapsed, or they moved to Egypt to buy grain and sell livestock, or even to invade and plunder.

On the other hand, historical records indicate that Egypt successfully dealt with the periods of famine in the world, and its difference with what happened at the end of the Old Kingdom.The era of invasions known as the “Sea Peoples” attacks , which struck. the Middle East, originating from the Mediterranean basin, in the 12th century BC, and led to the collapse of the Hittite kingdom and the states of the kingdoms of the eastern Mediterranean, especially Ugarit.

Researchers usually refer to the genius of the Egyptians since ancient times in dealing with various food crises, and the invention of advanced mechanisms for storing cereals in particular, and food in general, in accordance with the Egyptian environment, which Egypt caused similar global crises to circumvent. .

While some note that one of the examples of this genius is represented in the story of the prophet of God Yusuf, which according to the biblical story and the Koranic story took place in Egypt, during which he was able to deal with a famine that seven year extended, and appears in the king’s vision of seven green veins and the last dry land.

The mechanism for dealing with the food crisis, according to the religious narrative, was a proposal to store grain of the prosperous years, by leaving the wheat only a little on its ears, so that insects do not eat it, with the economy in taking it as much as necessary, and saving the rest of it for the difficult, barren years.

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