Why Civilization Is Older Than We Thought

Source: Palladium.

The essay promotes the possibility of a big rewrite of human history.

The generally accepted plot is that human beings lived as nomadic hunter-gathering clans for most of our biological existence until — suddenly — about 8,000 years ago we invented agriculture. Agriculture, in turn, led to increasingly complex social organization and the construction of walled cities, the very origin of civilization.

Göbekli Tepe is one of several archaeological sites around the world that challenges the plot. It is an ancient city apparently older than agriculture and in a location where stone age agriculture was unlikely. The implication is that complex societies, even civilization itself, may have evolved on Earth prior to or without the invention of agriculture.

Göbekli Tepe of course raises more questions than it answers. Above all, perhaps, are the questions about the concept of human progress. It is becoming increasingly feasible to conceive of some ancient humans as more advanced than ourselves.

2 thoughts on “Why Civilization Is Older Than We Thought

  1. The part about the Taliban destroying the Buddhas of Bamiyan was interesting. My wife and I were in Cambodia a few years ago and even after the Vietnam War and the Khmer Rouge, there are surviving Buddhist statues and shrines everywhere. Even the smallest villages will have large statues and spires, many literally made of gold. One of the locals we spoke to echoed the sentiments of the Taliban commander about how international aid organizations and wealthy expats are only interested in preserving these statues rather than helping the impoverished villagers.


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