Friday, October 10, 2008

Becoming civilized

Today we talked about the beginnings of civilization. For years (perhaps centuries) archaeologists thought that people gathered in cities for warfare. Then, in the last decade, this theory was proven *technically* incorrect by the discovery of the Caral Valley.

Archaeologist Ruth Shady is the foremost expert on this site, and it just keeps getting better and better!

Archaeologists found no weapons, battlements or bodies whose evidence would indicate violence. They did find lots of fibers, no pottery, but a lot of flutes!Scientists discovered a large ceremonial ruins just this year. The fascinating thing is that these sites are 20 miles from the ocean, yet there were fish bones in nearly every place archaeologists look.

Eventually, scientists found a 5,000 year old fishing net (!) near the coast and tied the two sites together. There were cotton seeds everywhere in the Caral Valley, and even though it is desert now, it was a lush agricultural site 5,000 years ago. Wow!

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