Idle Thumbs 197: What Happened To Us

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Ah, thanks, that makes a lot of sense - I took it as given that the Fertile Crescent was a unique bounty for the people who lived there. Thanks to you both for having the patience to explain such a wide-ranging topic and doing most of the heavy lifting in this conversation.


No problem! One of the biggest takeaways for me from Eight Eurocentric Historians (I hate that title, it sounds so unscholarly) is how much emphasis we place on the Fertile Crescent for its tenuous connection to European history. Blaut points out that intensive agriculture began near-contemporaneously in Southeast Asia and on the Indonesian peninsula (and possibly even before, although we can't say for sure since so many potential sites were lost when it became the Indonesian archipelago during the transition from prehistory to history), but since it can't be linked to the European Miracle, it's written off as a fluke in a way that Mesopotamia isn't. Same for evidence of prehistoric agriculture in the Americas.

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