The Great Divide: Nature and Human Nature in the Old World and the New

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Harper Collins, Jun 26, 2012 - History - 640 pages

In The Great Divide, acclaimed author and historian Peter Watson explores the development of humankind between the Old World and the New, and offers a groundbreaking new understanding of human history.

By 15,000 BC, humans had migrated from northeastern Asia across the frozen Bering land bridge to the Americas. When the last Ice Agecame to an end, the Bering Strait refilled with water, dividing America from Eurasia. This division continued until Christopher Columbus voyaged to the New World in the fifteenth century.

The Great Divide compares the development of humankind in the Old World and the New between 15,000 BC and AD 1,500. Combining the most up-to-date knowledge in archaeology, anthropology, geology, meteorology, cosmology, and mythology, Peter Watson’s masterful study offers uniquely revealing insight into what it means to be human.

 

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Contents

The Aztecs as evil as Nazis
A Unique Period in Human History
HOW THE FIRST AMERICANS DIFFERED FROM OLD WORLD
The Disasters of Deep Time as Revealed
Siberia and the Sources of Shamanism
Into a Land Without People
Rings of Fire and Thermal Trumpets
Roots v Seeds and the Anomalous Distribution of Domesticable
What People Are Made
The Psychoactive Rainforest and the Anomalous Distribution
Houses ofSmoke Coca and Chocolate
WHY HUMAN NATURE EVOLVED DIFFERENTLY IN THE
The Origins of Monotheism and the End of Sacrifice in the Old World
Concept of Nature
Conclusion
Some Patterns in Cultural Evolution

The Fall
Catastrophe and the AllImportant Origins of Sacrifice
From Narcotics to Alcohol
About the Author
Sources for Figures
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

Peter Watson has been a senioreditor at the London Sunday Times, a New York correspondentof the London Times, a columnist for theLondon Observer, and a contributor to the New YorkTimes. He has published three exposés on the world ofart and antiquities, and is the author of several booksof cultural and intellectual history. From 1997 to 2007he was a research associate at the McDonald Institutefor Archaeological Research at the University of Cambridge.He lives in London.

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