[ExI] Domestication

The Avantguardian avantguardian2020 at yahoo.com
Sat Sep 18 00:40:38 UTC 2010

>From: John Clark <jonkc at bellsouth.net>
>To: ExI chat list <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org>
>Sent: Fri, September 17, 2010 9:30:02 AM
>Subject: [ExI] Domestication
>Anybody have a theory why the asian elephant has been domesticated but not the 
>African elephant? And it's not just animals, with all the millions of species to 
>work with why have so few new domesticated plants come on the scene in the last 
>few centuries? 
>  John K Clark
> I am just speculating here but I think it could simply be lack of sustained 
>effort amongst Afican cultures. The habitat of the African elephant is mostly 
>restricted to Sub-Saharan Africa which has historically hosted primarily 
>hunter-gatherer tribesman until recent times and colonialism. The high 
>civilizations of ancient Africa such as Egypt, Carthage, Numidia, Kush, etc. 
>were mostly in Northern Africa along the mediterrenean and it would have 
>probably been very difficult for them to move elephants across the Sahara.
>Despite, it is a known historical fact that Carthage domesticated elephants for 
>use as war elephants  (c.f. Hannibal and Punic War) and these would have had to 
>have been the African variety although some think it was a subs-species of 
>African Elephant called the North African Elephant. In any case, the 
>complete genocide of Carthage by the Romans probably set the art of taming 
>elephants in Africa back by several hundred years.
>It is a widely believed myth that the African elephants can't be tamed. During 
>colonization of the Belgian Congo the Belgians used Indian Mahouts, who simply 
>applied the ages old Indian techniques, to successfully train African elephants. 
>These days you can even go on safari in Africa from the back of an African 
>elephant for the right price:
>So in short, I blame the Romans.
>Stuart LaForge
>"Old men read the lesson in the setting sun.
>Beat the cymbal and sing in this life, or wail away the hours fearing death.
>Their choice is their fortune." - I Ching 

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