I am so very impressed by the author’s remarkable scholarship and research in writing this book. As an anthropology student I can really appreciate the years of analysis and shifting through large amounts of source materials. I am not done reading it but what I can safely say is that science has shown once again that there is no need for racism, prejudice or anything like it. All empirical evidence demonstrates that civilization started within the fertile crescent, the area which is now Turkey, Syria, Iraq. The author fully lays out his argument that solely for the good fortune of moderate climate and topography, slight altitudinal variations and availability of domestic able mammals and grains, legumes and pulses, the fertile crescent was ideal for the cradle of civilization to emerge. Archeological evidence in other parts of the world show that they weren’t as fortunate with their original food sources but once different food stuffs came in from elsewhere, they were more than able to adapt. The author also examines the East-West axis as opposed to the North-South axis of distribution, this goes to latitudinal similarities in climate and growing seasons versus the vast differences longitudinally. Fascinating stuff, fundamentally we are all more or less equal in terms of resourcefulness, adaptability and creativity. The X factor was the environmental gifts that were available to the people.
Right now, I’m at the section where the author is examining the development of writing. The first source of writing known to civilization is the Sumerian cuneiform developed around 6000 B.C. Suffice it to say that the Sumerians developed accounting systems that grew into writing due to their successful transition to a farming society that rendered them wealthier and necessity is the driver of invention. You see the beauty in the logical development of man’s evolution. I highly recommend this book, it was also made into a PBS special, I hope that they got a wonderful narrator for the special.
Pingback: 31 May 2012: Guns, Germs, and Steel « Gratitude every day