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[personal profile] james_davis_nicoll

Until recently, anthropologists believed cities and farms emerged about 9,000 years ago in the Mediterranean and Middle East. But now a team of interdisciplinary researchers has gathered evidence showing how civilization as we know it may have emerged at the equator, in tropical forests. Not only that, but people started farming about 30,000 years earlier than we thought.

Date: 2017-08-04 03:47 am (UTC)
From: [personal profile] maruad
Very interesting. Thanks for the link.

Date: 2017-08-04 04:20 am (UTC)
graydon: (Default)
From: [personal profile] graydon
Wonder if these are the upland provinces of equatorial polities out on the low fertile continental shelves. Pushing stable agriculture back to the peak glacial rather helps that drowned cities hypothesis.

Date: 2017-08-04 02:21 pm (UTC)
autopope: Me, myself, and I (Default)
From: [personal profile] autopope
Also makes a revival of the circa-Robert E. Howard Lemuria/Atlantis/lost civilizations of antiquity sub-genre rather more practical!

(Needs a workaround for either pre-literate civilization or for literate-but-no-surviving-monumental-inscriptions, but maybe wax tablets/strips of tree bark would work? Neither's likely to survive an inundation, and if the highlands were inhabited by unpleasant illiterate barbarian tribes who had some sort of taboo against recording the memories of the dead, that could be hand-waved in ...)

Date: 2017-08-04 02:44 pm (UTC)
graydon: (Default)
From: [personal profile] graydon
Monumental inscriptions might not be a universal; that seems to have been Fertile Crescent notion-of-gods sort of thing, I don't recall that your typical East Asian ruler demonstrated legitimacy with big monuments which start off saying "god loves me".

Even if they had them, thirty thousand years in the rain is an awfully long time; not at all likely to be a legible monument now even if there were some.

And of course maybe there are some, but under the wave or face down in a swamp. (I was going to say it would have had to have been a low population density world thus few monuments but, no, it might not have been. Be interesting to see if the population geneticists can find evidence for a lot of interchange around then.)

I'm doubtful clay tablets would last even 5 kyears anywhere damp. Paper or parchment seems wildly unlikely. From a human culture perspective, that's a deep abyss of time.

There's that fellow who argues for the earliest egyptian architectural period, boats, and settlement from an inundated culture. And Göbekli Tepe, and the dates for Australian settlement; there's no problem making an argument for a global maritime culture around then.

Date: 2017-08-04 06:22 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] keith_morrison
Who says we'd have even found the monuments yet?

Note that archeologists are still finding Mayan ruins even though we know with certainty the Mayans were there, they still live there, and people are specifically looking for the sites.

The ruins of a 20,000 year old towns in the middle of the jungle somewhere? I can easily believe they would have been undiscovered.
Edited Date: 2017-08-04 06:25 pm (UTC)

Date: 2017-08-04 07:08 pm (UTC)
graydon: (Default)
From: [personal profile] graydon
With no one looking? I'd be astonished if such a place had been found. Completely agree that 20,000 year old settlements could readily have gone undiscovered.

I'm reminded of some paper that was trying to track population via charcoal in soil; fired pottery increases the demand for charcoal, kiln temperatures and glazes get you to metal smelting, and that runs the demand for charcoal way up until you've deforested the place.

If the idea is a long period of ecological sustainability with diffuse farming, it may be they didn't have much of a demand for charcoal. Which might make their postulated toolkit -- both low-charcoal and successful seafaring -- pretty strange to us. (Though I suppose that's just what the Polynesian toolkit looked like.)

Date: 2017-08-06 06:39 pm (UTC)
From: [personal profile] neowolf2
This reminded me of terra preta, the black anthropogenic amazonian soil containing large amounts of charcoal. It's a kind of neolithic geoengineering.
Edited Date: 2017-08-06 06:39 pm (UTC)

Date: 2017-08-04 06:29 pm (UTC)
sporky_rat: Antique travel poster for Star Wars planets. Text: DAGOBAH (Dagobah)
From: [personal profile] sporky_rat
I can't even get terra cotta pots to last in South Mississippi longer than about four years without it getting soft and crumbly.

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