Reihan: Cradle of Civilization

The controversial-yet-indispensable Razib Khan offers this handy map that tracks the diffusion of agriculture from the Fertile Crescent to points beyond.


A few weeks ago, I spoke with Razib about the imperialism of the milk-drinkers: how a handful of light-eyed Volga dwellers, powered by immunity-bolstering cow milk, were able to transform the face of the world. (Milk: How A Frothy White Beverage Created All Civilization, and How the Irish Saved It, and How It Explains the World By Making the World Flat.) As a great lover of milk, this pleased me. And yet I thought about my indigenous ancestors facing off against these cow-loving hordes and I thought, "Does ancestral loyalty demand that I stick to milk?" I'll tell you this much: my ancestors clearly weren't drinking NesQuik, so I can give up the charade of wanting to live like them. For example, I also enjoy living in a structure with a roof.