In Figure 4.1 of Guns, Germs, and Steel, what is a prerequisite to the develpment of technology?

1 Answer

pohnpei397's profile pic

pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted on

In order to answer this question, all you have to do is to look at Figure 4.1.  There is the box labeled “technology.”  There is a box above it labeled “large, dense, sedentary, stratified societies.  That box has an arrow pointing to “technology.”  If you follow the arrows upward, any box that is connected to those boxes by an arrow is one of the prerequisites to the development of technology.  That means that “food surpluses, food storage;” “many domesticated plant and animal species;” “many suitable wild species;” “ease of species spreading;” and “east-west axis” are all prerequisites for technology. 

To summarize the figure, technology depends on having a dense, sedentary society.  That depends on having farming.  Farming depends on having many species that can be domesticated.  It is helped by being in a place to which species can spread from other places.  This is made easier if the place is on an east-west axis.