My first commentary on the book: The Dawn of Everything

A few days ago I purchased the new book by David Graeber and David Wengrow, The Dawn of Everything: A New History of Everything, 2021. Graeber was an anthropologist while Wengrow is an archeologist. And, for me, the book is a revelation of what foragers (hunter/gatherers) have done as revealed by the archeological findings. It is also a book which denies the prevalent narrative that agricultural activity and even the formation of “cities” required a State. In other words, the book argues that much can be accomplished democratically (anarchistically) without a State.

Below is an interview with David Wengrow on Democracy Now! in which he introduces the book:

I am still in the process of reading the book. I have read most of it so far by jumping all over the place. It is over 600 pages long. But I have read enough so far so that I can discern things which I have learned and appreciate, and the things about which I have criticisms, which I will talk about in the future.

As an amateur in most things, to appreciate this book I had to brush-up on how periods of time are named. The Greek word for “stone” is “lithos,” and since the earliest surviving tools of man were made of stone, that period is knows as the Stone Age, which archeologists divides into Paleolithic (Old Stone Age), Mesolithic (Middle Stone Age), and Neolithic (New Stone Age). Based on the kind of material used for tools, the next Age is the Copper Age (Chalcolithic) c. 5000 BC, then the Bronze c. 4000 – 3000 BC, then the Iron Age c. 1200 BC, and the Modern Age, which begins with written records c. 3000 BC. All these periods vary relative to different places.

In this blog I have arranged for you some videos about some of the archeological findings attributed to foragers discussed in the book (in no particular order).

Along the Mississippi Valley there are all sorts of earthen mounds. Among these the outstanding one is at Poverty Point in Louisiana. Below is one video, among many, about Poverty Point.

In Japan, archeologists are studying what they call the “jomon” period from around 1400 to 300 BC. Here is a video of the remarkable find at Sannai Maruyama.

In Ukraine there are “mega-sites” belonging to the “Cucuteni-Tripolye” culture.

The city of Teotihuacan in Mexico is a mystery because it has no evidence of royalty in either buildings or in depictions.

Çatalhöyük: a 9000 year old town in Turkey – Ian Hodder (Stanford University)

Astonishing Revelations at ‘Oldest Temple on Earth’ — Gobekli Tepe

The Mammoth Bone Huts of Mezhirich

In Finnland there are “Giants’ Churches” — Jatinkirkko

Shigir Idol found by a lake in the Ural Mountains

The Calusa of Florida

Introduction to the Indus Valley Civilization

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