PDA

View Full Version : Human Civilization: a chart



David G
12-27-2016, 12:15 PM
http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_vault/2013/08/12/the_1931_histomap_the_entire_history_of_the_world_ distilled_into_a_single.html


(http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_vault/2013/08/12/the_1931_histomap_the_entire_history_of_the_world_ distilled_into_a_single.html)Helpful for some perspective on 'Empires' --

http://www.slate.com/content/dam/slate/blogs/the_vault/2013/8/12/HistomapFinal.jpg.CROP.article920-large.jpg

Keith Wilson
12-27-2016, 12:19 PM
Interesting, but very eurocentric. The Chinese stripe is WAY too narrow in most places. The Tang dynasty around 750 should cover half the chart. maybe more.

Dan McCosh
12-27-2016, 01:27 PM
Kind of missed the Western Hemisphere.

amish rob
12-27-2016, 01:36 PM
Kind of missed the Western Hemisphere.
Wait. What? Are you saying just because there were cities as populous and advanced as those on other continents, the Americas count in prehistory? Or even ancient history?

You mean the invention of corn counts?

Just because the Triple Alliance left a larger corpus than the Greeks doesn't mean they count as a civilization, does it? Those pyramids in Mexico don't count. They're too zigguratty, I guess...

Oh, and those Incans, with their silly potatoes and knot writing. Silly.

Americas. Ha! :d

Peace,
Robert

Peerie Maa
12-27-2016, 01:37 PM
Interesting, but very eurocentric. The Chinese stripe is WAY too narrow in most places. The Tang dynasty around 750 should cover half the chart. maybe more.

Were they that powerful? For most of their existence they were stuck inside their borders, and for a significant period, they were totally inward looking.

Keith Wilson
12-27-2016, 02:33 PM
Wait. What? Are you saying just because there were cities as populous and advanced as those on other continents . . . Populous yes; advanced technologically, no. Guns, germs and steel came from elsewhere. But I agree, leaving them off altogether is definitely a mistake.

Jimmy W
12-27-2016, 02:45 PM
Centuries ago, when Stonehenge was built and Queen Nefertiti ruled Egypt, American Indians were building earthen monuments in north Louisiana. Hand by hand and basketful by basketful, men and women shaped nearly 2 million cubic yards of soil into stunning landscapes. The result was a massive 72-foot-tall mound, enormous concentric half-circles and related earthworks that dwarfed every other earthen monument site for 2,200 years.

The amount of forethought and organization needed to build Poverty Point without the aid of modern instruments, domesticated animals or even wheeled carts must have been staggering. And for what reason? We still do not know, but clues are constantly being revealed. Archaeologists have much to work with, as millions of artifacts were found at the site. Domestic tools, human figurines and tons of stones from up to 800 miles away have led to speculation that Poverty Point was an ancient residential, trade and ceremonial center.

http://povertypoint.us/

amish rob
12-27-2016, 02:49 PM
Well,

Evidence suggests Aztecs trepanned each other with anesthesia. They built great pyramids and drained swamps and developed complex societies and writing systems. More writing than the Greeks.

And corn? Well, people didn't find corn and just rub the nicest corn together. Corn was made in the Americas.

Those type things represent technology, to me.

I read Jarred Diamond, by the by. And many others.

I certainly don't mean to compare late civilizations, but ancient ones. Egyptians, Greeks, Tang, Triple Alliance, etc.

American (not the U.S.A, though that, too) history and prehistory is my bag. Lately I've been researching the running games. You know, almost everyone, from the top to the bottom, played a similar running game with a ball or small stick?

Oh, and the Europeans were not civilized when they came here. They were savage murderers who considered the noble people they found to be animals, and treated them thusly. And they justified their actions with their religion.
Not civilized.

Peace,
Robert

skuthorp
12-27-2016, 02:57 PM
"Oh, and the Europeans were not civilized when they came here. They were savage murderers who considered the noble people they found to be animals, and treated them thusly. And they justified their actions with their religion.
Not civilized."
Did much the same in Australia, worse they didn't even count them as human, or even count them as existing (look up Terra Nullis). Continued till 1967 that, continues today.
Somewhere between 45,000 and 60,000 years of occupation of the continent was dismissed.

David G
12-27-2016, 03:03 PM
What I found interesting was the graphic perspective of the length of things - esp. relative to the rise of US... errr, I mean the U.S. And the ebb and flow of influence and empire. Nothing lasts. Forms change. Cultures develop. As a species... we learn. And regress. And move forward again.

Now is a time it seems - throughout the world - as shown by Brexit, the Phillipines, too many African nations, Russia & E. Europe, Trump, etc.... to resist the backsliding.

jack grebe
12-27-2016, 03:08 PM
Wait. What? Are you saying just because there were cities as populous and advanced as those on other continents, the Americas count in prehistory?

Populous yes; advanced technologically, no. Guns, germs and steel came from elsewhere. But I agree, leaving them off altogether is definitely a mistake.


Are you saying guns are a part of advanced society?

David G
12-27-2016, 03:13 PM
Are you saying guns are a part of advanced society?

Some people don't seem to have read the OP very well. The chart depicts the author's judgement about relative POWER. Says nothing about long-term thinking, or moral supremacy, or artichoke-growing acumen. Nor does it include any judgement about 'advanced' societies.

oznabrag
12-27-2016, 03:13 PM
Are you saying guns are a part of advanced society?

Yes.

In much the same way that Donald Trump is part of an advanced society.

amish rob
12-27-2016, 03:16 PM
"Oh, and the Europeans were not civilized when they came here. They were savage murderers who considered the noble people they found to be animals, and treated them thusly. And they justified their actions with their religion.
Not civilized."
Did much the same in Australia, worse they didn't even count them as human, or even count them as existing (look up Terra Nullis). Continued till 1967 that, continues today.
Somewhere between 45,000 and 60,000 years of occupation of the continent was dismissed.
Read a book called Fatal Shore about that.

By the by, the throwing stick is something lots of people had in common long ago. Here we had the atlatl, and I think they called them woomera Down There. :)
With a six foot dart and a two foot atlatl, I'm not bad to about 100 yards.;)

Peace,
Robert

Keith Wilson
12-27-2016, 03:26 PM
Jack, general technological advance has always included more effective weapons. The point of technology is to allow us to do more things. Unfortunately, one thing that human beings have always wanted to do is to kill their fellow men as efficiently as possible. FWIW, Guns, Germs, and Steel is the title of an interesting book by Jared Diamond (https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Guns,_Germs,_and_Steel). I recommend it.

While I certainly would never attempt to defend the behavior of the Europeans on first arriving in the western hemisphere, yes, the new world civilizations were indeed much less technologically advanced even compared to the Roman Empire, much less the Tang Dynasty; no wheels, and hardly any metal. OTOH, they were by no means backwards savages (if that's even a useful term), just a bit behind Eurasia in technology. There was a reason they collapsed so rapidly under the attack of small raggedy bands of European adventurers (smallpox helped a lot). And 'noble' might be a bit of an overly-generous description of folks practicing human sacrifice on a grand scale.

Gerarddm
12-27-2016, 03:32 PM
I had a copy of that once. Gives some perspective despite its flaws.

Incidentally, it was once noted to me that there have been great civilizations without electricity, industrialization or even the wheel, but there never has been a great civilization without art.

amish rob
12-27-2016, 03:40 PM
True. Noble was a bit too far.

Still. If we consider people killing in the name of their god to be the good guys, we can at least give the bad guys some due, too. They also killed for their gods.
And sacrifice on a grand scale? Jawbone of a donkey, much? :)

Forget the Aztec, then, since they were inferior to contemporary societies.

Lets go Olmec. Does America get to be on the chart of great civilizations and empires, now? The art from 1000 BCE surely indicates these were civilized people. Pyramids, too. Oh, and writing.

I just always laugh when I hear Western Civilization. In Greece? ;)

Peace,
Robert

Keith Wilson
12-27-2016, 03:55 PM
That chart's really about Europe and the Middle East, with a nod to Asia. Africa's not there either.

amish rob
12-27-2016, 03:59 PM
Keith,
I'm sorry, bud. I'm just being the advocate is all.

You always make intelligent, compelling arguments I enjoy.

For all that, I also love the prehistory of the east. I particularly enjoy the Sumerians, Akkadians, Babylonians. Neat biz, way back when. And some serious roots of cultures to follow.
Yea, Hammurabi! :d

Peace,
Robert

Keith Wilson
12-27-2016, 04:47 PM
No worries, and no apologies needed; quite the contrary. But I'm too much a modern guy to really appreciate the study of ancient civilizations, myself. Until pretty recently, one could make a pretty good case that abandoning living in small bands of hunter-gatherers might have been a mistake. It may still turn out to have been, although I hope not. I'm fond of books, vaccines, and central heating, myself, and having most of our children live to grow up is nice.

amish rob
12-27-2016, 05:00 PM
Keith,

I absolutely adore your wit and humor, too. To be clear, I ain't no real caveman. I love the modern world.

But. The break you mentioned is what really drives me. Why we decided to settle down. How and why civilizations were organized. That stuff is really interesting to me.

Also, the further back you go, the more the stories converge. At one point, it was simply unhyphenated human history. :)

Peace,
Robert

bobbys
12-27-2016, 05:02 PM
What I found interesting was the graphic perspective of the length of things - esp. relative to the rise of US... errr, I mean the U.S. And the ebb and flow of influence and empire. Nothing lasts. Forms change. Cultures develop. As a species... we learn. And regress. And move forward again.

Now is a time it seems - throughout the world - as shown by Brexit, the Phillipines, too many African nations, Russia & E. Europe, Trump, etc.... to resist the backsliding.
.

I knew the trump money ( pun)shot was going to come out of this map.

Keith Wilson
12-27-2016, 05:04 PM
Rob, have you read the other book by Jared Diamond, The World Until Yesterday? It's not as good as Guns Germs and Steel, and he really needed a good editor to make it 2/3 as long, but it has some interesting ideas anyway. It compares 'modern' civilizations (anything since the invention of government, really) with traditional ones, how we've lived for most of our history.

amish rob
12-27-2016, 05:12 PM
No, I haven't read it, but it is in the queue. I like some of his ideas, to be sure. Thanks for the head up.

I also enjoyed 1491 and 1492 by Charles (? I think...)Mann. Cool ideas.

I have some other stuff that is super dry and academic. I don't understand why scholarly works so often read like phone books...;)

Peace,
Robert

PeterSibley
12-27-2016, 05:34 PM
The thing that always fascinates me is the development of metals , how did it first happen? A potter attempting a glaze from a green stone ?

lupussonic
12-27-2016, 06:19 PM
^ Nothing stops technological advances faster than not being allowed to simply muck about.

Have we decided what 'power' means yet?

Too Little Time
12-27-2016, 09:06 PM
Have we decided what 'power' means yet?
It does seem to be unclear what "power" means in the context of the chart.

The bottom of the chart is misleading as it was published in 1931.

johnw
12-27-2016, 11:59 PM
Were they that powerful? For most of their existence they were stuck inside their borders, and for a significant period, they were totally inward looking.
.

Yeah, they were. They used to produce about a third of world GDP as recently as 1820.

http://graphics8.nytimes.com/images/2010/03/26/business/economy/china.jpg
http://booksellersvsbestsellers.blogspot.com/2011/10/opium-trade-and-chinas-rise.html

johnw
12-28-2016, 12:05 AM
No, I haven't read it, but it is in the queue. I like some of his ideas, to be sure. Thanks for the head up.

I also enjoyed 1491 and 1492 by Charles (? I think...)Mann. Cool ideas.

I have some other stuff that is super dry and academic. I don't understand why scholarly works so often read like phone books...;)

Peace,
Robert
.

Those Charles Mann books are amazing. One measure of technology was that in the New World, the Spanish encountered civilizations that could maintain higher population densities than old world crops raised on the same land. New world crops, in fact, revolutionized agriculture in Europe and Asia. Parts of China could suddenly support larger populations with the new crops, for example.

My theory is that the Latin American Indians mixed with the newcomers instead of being displaced because they had the agricultural technology needed to get the most from their land.