A cultural hearth is defined by Jared Diamond as any place where an innovative idea first springs forth. This is a well-known term in the history field, and there are many examples from ancient history that could be mentioned to illustrate this concept. Diamond discusses Europe, Asia and the Middle East in his book, and for good reason. Mesopotamia, the region that lies between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers was a model cultural hearth where irrigation, the wheel, writing and literature all first developed. Cultural hearths produce new ideas and inventions, and them help them diffuse across other cultures through trade and other forms of cultural exchange. Western Europe is a more modern cultural hearth, where industrialization took off in the 1800’s
In Guns, Germs, and Steel, author Jared Diamond uses the term "hearth" to refer to a cultural development center, or cultural homeland.