Cows, Pigs, Wars, and Witches: The Riddles of Culture by Marvin Harris

By Marvin Harris

This e-book demanding situations those that argue that we will swap the area by way of altering the way in which humans imagine. Harris indicates that irrespective of how extraordinary a people's habit could seem, it usually stems from concrete social and monetary stipulations.

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Sample text

4 In fact the Persians were as ‘civilized’ as the Greeks, especially among their elite. 5 Linguistically, Europe had become the home of the ‘Aryans’, the speakers of Indo-European languages coming from Asia. Western Asia on the other hand was the home of peoples speaking Semitic languages, a branch of the Afro-Asiatic family that included those spoken by the Jews, the Phoenicians, the Arabs, the Copts, the Berbers, and many others in North Africa and Asia. It was this division between Aryan and other, embodied later on in Nazi doctrines, that in the folk-history of Europe tended to encourage the subsequent neglect of the contributions of the east to the growth of civilization.

In any case water was only one element in this dichotomy. The notion of Asiatic despotism and collective ownership follows nineteenth-century ideas of the east, criticism of which appears in chapter 4 as well as under politics below. So too with the idea of dominance, thought of as related to water control. While it is true that the river valleys with their fertile soils gave exceptional yields and came to be of central importance, Mesopotamia included many rainfed areas, just as the production of olives was especially important in North Africa, around Carthage for example.

However, that rejection of print proved highly significant over the long term, both in respect of the measurement of time and of the circulation of written information. Both were central in the development of what was later called the Scientific Revolution or the birth of ‘modern science’ – their selective application of the technology of communication impeded advancement after a certain point in time, but this is a far cry from a complete inability to measure time, or ignorance as to its possibility and value.

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