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“Spacious Skies & Tilted Axes …”. The Benefits of an East/West Orientation. Spacious Skies & Tilted Axes. From Guns, Germs and Steel, p 177. Spacious Skies & Tilted Axes. Diffusion of: Plants and Animals: Agricultural techniques Other Technologies . Spacious Skies & Tilted Axes.

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spacious skies tilted axes

“Spacious Skies & Tilted Axes …”

The Benefits of an

East/West Orientation

spacious skies tilted axes2
Spacious Skies & Tilted Axes

From Guns, Germs and Steel, p 177

spacious skies tilted axes3
Spacious Skies & Tilted Axes
  • Diffusion of:
    • Plants and Animals:
    • Agricultural techniques
    • Other Technologies
spacious skies tilted axes4
Spacious Skies & Tilted Axes
  • Examine Three Regions:
    • Eurasia (Diffusion from Fertile Crescent)
    • Africa
    • The Americas
    • First, Eurasia …
spacious skies tilted axes5
Spacious Skies & Tilted Axes

Spacious Skies & Tilted Axes

From Guns, Germs and Steel, p 177

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Spacious Skies & Tilted Axes
  • Reasons for Rapid Diffusion in Eurasia:
    • Similar growing conditions
    • Little preemptive domestication
    • East/West Axis Predominant in Eurasia
spacious skies tilted axes7
Spacious Skies & Tilted Axes
  • Why was East/West Axis Important:
    • Locations distributed East to West share the same latitude, generally leading to other similarities:
      • Same day length
      • Seasonal variations
      • Rainfall & temperatures
      • Similar diseases
      • Types of vegetation
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Spacious Skies & Tilted Axes
  • Plants Programmed to Latitudinal Factors

Day length | Seed germination

Seasons | Seedling growth

Climate | Flowering & baring fruit

  • Same for Animals
  • Bottom Line: East/West Axis Allowed Easier Diffusion in Eurasia
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Spacious Skies & Tilted Axes
  • Africa and Americas had Limited Diffusion due to North-South Orientation
    • Except for a few animals, the FC package did not arrive in S. Africa until Europeans arrived in 1652
    • Except for Mexican corn, little diffusion occurred between: US – Mexico – Andes
    • Note: Evidence of little preemptive diffusion in Africa and Americas
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Spacious Skies & Tilted Axes
  • Caveat:
    • Latitude is not the only factor
    • Local topography and ecology play a role
      • North America
      • FC -> India
      • FC -> China
      • FC -> Africa
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Spacious Skies & Tilted Axes
  • Extension:
    • The principle of East/West diffusion applies to agriculture and much more
      • Wheel (ox carts)
      • Writing (royal propaganda, food inventories & bureaucratic record keeping)
    • While not directly related to ag diffusion, technological transfers followed the spread of food production.
assigned readings
Assigned Readings

Course

ReaderG G S

For Wednesday: Library Tour

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For Friday: MID-TERM EXAM

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For Next Monday: Course

(at least to p. 78) ReaderG G S

Medievil Section pp60-93

By Walburger