Musings of an autodidact

Religion

Material culture in brief


Beer quite possibly a key cause of civilization

Archaeology300As Paul Ratner at Big Think puts it, “Patrick McGovern, a biomolecular archaeologist at the University of Pennsylvania, has one of the coolest jobs in the world.”

Yes. Yes he does. (more…)


Eridu: the first city – a nicely detailed podcast on its history and context


Ancient Sumer and Eridu


Quite the background

As we’ve seen, the beginnings of civilization had quite the background. After millions of years of development and migration from pre-human hunter-gatherers, humanity is overtaken by, and overcomes an ice age, remaining hunter gatherers, though of a stone tool-making variety. What may seem to our modern thinking tragically slow innovations gradually caused smaller groups of nomadic hunter-gatherers to coalesce into villages. Little things like learning to control the food supply with agriculture and the domestication of livestock or the span of thousands of years, rather than millions, are utterly revolutionary and transformative.  (more…)


Ancient Near Eastern art: Sumer and Akkad


The beginning of writing and literature