why Eurasia

Anton Sherwood (dasher@netcom.com)
Wed, 10 Sep 1997 17:35:55 -0700

Damien Sullivan reports
: Jacobs, in _The Economy of Cities_ plausibly reversed the usual
: development process -- small trading cities developed first,
: near unusual raw materials (obsidian, perhaps) and agriculture
: and animal husbandry began by accident, due to the diversity and
: large number of seeds and tamed animals brought in for trade.

This is compatible with someone's suggestion (did I read it here?)
that our ancestors' love of art was what did in poor old Neander.
To recap: We have lots of Neanderthaler artifacts but they're all
purely functional, nothing ornamental. With low technology, there's
little worth trading other than artwork, because apart from that
everyone has pretty much the same stuff. So the heavy-brow guys
didn't trade, and so had no wide-range society; they might not even
share language with neighboring bands. That's a serious competitive
disadvantage against folks whose favorite thing to do, when they
meet strangers, is to ask "What's new and have you got anything

Anton Sherwood *\\* +1 415 267 0685 *\\* DASher@netcom.com