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‘By 5000 BC there was very little for later history to do…’

May 16th, 2011 · 2 Comments

Neolithic Beginnings

The question of religion is hampered by the absence of data from the Neolithic, the seminal source of most constructs of civilization.
Note: this post set up for crosslink at The Gurdjeff Con

The ‘after the ice’ saga of the human adventure in the wake of the Last Glacial Maximum begins ca. -20,000. As Steve Mithen notes in After The Ice, “Human history began in 50,000 BC…Little of significance happened until 20,000 BC…Then came an astonishing 15,000 years that saw the origin of farming, towns, and civilization. By 5000 BC there was very little for later history to do; all the groundwork for the modern world had been completed. History had simply to unfold until it reached the present day.” This sounds like another ‘Axial Age’ lurking in the data

Tags: General

2 responses so far ↓

  • 1 The Gurdjieff Con » Neolithic and religion // May 16, 2011 at 11:04 am

    [...] Neolithic Beginnings The previous post about ‘early Xtianity’ should be seen in terms of the significance of the Neolithic. It is clear that Indian religion still shows signs of that period. [...]

  • 2 Luke Rondinaro // May 16, 2011 at 2:14 pm

    ‘By 5000 BC there was very little for later history to do…’

    … except perhaps to pop into place, jumping together in terms of its various civilizational cradles and ushering in the era of integrating World System History (ala the concept of the late Andre Gunder Frank) …

    But this statement does raise a question, though … If prehistory up to this pont was like a big wind-up-jack-in-the-box just waiting for its time to “jump”, then why not honestly “pop” earlier? …

    It seems to indicate that something else besides such historical drivers like David Christian’s “collective learning” and related causal mechanisms were involved here in the threshold of World Systemic, world historical emergence in human experience at the time.

    Maybe it was only by this time that a more interactive web of human linkages was able be linked together in a cohesive, coherent network over newly developed trade and communications routes of the Neolithic/far ancient world? Or perhaps, to cite Christian’s theory about “symbolic language” and “collective learning”, maybe such a process could only take root and take off within a world-systematic content, that could only form later on from 5,000 to 3,000 BCE.

    I don’t know; but I almost think it’s pushing it a bit to say ‘there was very little for later history to do.”

    My latest Dianoeidos blog post deals with David C’s “collective learning” principle. I hope you and your readers here will check it out and comment. Thanks.

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