--- In cybalist@... s.com, "tgpedersen" <tgpedersen@ ...> wrote:
> and the idea that the Middle East was not the cradle of civilization
> and agriculture, but a stopover point for the civilization and
> agriculture of the Far East, ie. the drowned continent of Sundaland
> (that was after I read Oppenheimer' s 'Out of Eden'). There is
> something fishy about the polycentric (rather bicentric) view of world
> history where bronze was invented twice, cereal cultivated twice,
> animals domesticated twice.
I have to agree about that last statement, only since I wasn't there
at the time I am not going to go so far as to profess this idea. The
first statement, well, I believe in modern geology and plate tectonics
so I would have to give little credence to the idea of a drowned
continent of Sundaland (but I will look for "Out of Eden" in the
library when I get a chance). But I don't think it's unbelievable
that the technology and the agriculture of civilization might have
originated in the Far East and then spread westward.
Only when it's based on unsustained nonsense. We have solid evidence for the Middle East being the first cradle of grain-based agriculture and no evidence for grain-based agriculture in the Far East until much later.
We do have evidence of early sedentary agriculture in New Guinea based on bananas, plantains, sago, possibly sugarcane (I read something that claimed sugarcane originated there, but most of what I've seen links it to Bangladesh and surrounding countries).
In much of the Old World, the idea of agriculture and metals themselves, rather than the technologies, probably gave rise to separate creations of technologies and domestications.
Bronze and grain based agriculture were most certainly discovered separately in the New World. The Peruvians discovered bronze technology and it reached Mexico shortly before the Spaniards arrived.