Monday, September 09, 2019

Nothing new under the sun

Indeed, rural abandonment has often been a serious and significant consequence of urban agglomeration throughout human history.… This decline in rural lifeways may have critically affected agricultural production, diminishing returns, placing further stress on an inflexible multitiered settlement system, which then ultimately collapsed under its own overmilitarized weight and a deteriorating natural environment.—Melissa Kennedy, "Horizons of Cultural Connectivity: North-South Interactions During the Early Bronze Age IV," in New Horizons in the Study of the Early Bronze III and Early Bronze IV of the Levant, edited by Suzanne Richard (Eisenbrauns, forthcoming).

<idle musing>
Nope. It's not describing Rome, although it could be. And it's not describing the Hittite Empire, although it could be. And, it's not a prophecy about the United States, although it could be. It's describing the decline of urban life in the southern Levant in the Early Bronze Age—wich predates all of those by at least a thousand years.

The more things change, the more they stay the same. Those who don't know history are doomed to repeat it. And those of us who do, are doomed to watch others repeat it while we watch on, trying vainly to warn others of their folly. No wonder Qohelet (the preacher in Ecclesiastes) said all is vanity. : (
</idle musing>

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