©2021 by Vernon Miles Kerr and VernonMilesKerr.com - Originally posted to Twitter in rough-draft 11/29/2021
Today’s “#FirstCuppaJoe” column on Twitter, spell-checked and spiffed up:
#FirstCuppaJoe for 11/29 (thread) This morning’s meditations are inspired by my current reading of The Dawn of Everything, by David Graeber and David Wengrow.
Sometimes what we think of as ancient history ain’t so ancient after all. Circa 1270 CE, Marco Polo and retinue were on the trail, within Kublai Khan’s empire, for a year before reaching Beijing. Meanwhile, emissaries were sent and the visitors were taught Mandarin.
Marco: “We’re Christians, we believe in…”
Kublai: “We know about Christians, they’ve been here for 500 years, many are my department heads.”
We think of early Egypt as being about the “dawn” of civilization. But around 5,000 years ago, when the first Pharaoh ruled, evidence of the civilization which produced the exquisite stone structures and carvings at Göbekli Tepe, in Turkey, had already been buried for 7,000 years. How many forms of government, how many “religions” and other unhealthy cultural practices had been tried and discarded before that? How much history are we “doomed” to repeat, simply because of our scanty knowledge of the real span of civilization?