According to Guns, Germs, and Steel, what were the advantages enjoyed by the Fertile Crescent that allowed it to be the earliest site of development for civilizations?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

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You can find the answer to this question by looking in Chapter 8.  There (beginning on p. 138 in the paperback edition of the book), Diamond lists a number of advantages that were enjoyed by the Fertile Crescent.  These advantages include:

  • A high percentage of wild plants that could be domesticated.
  • The largest area with the Mediterranean climate that is good for farming.
  • The most variation in climate over the years as well as within each year.  This allowed for the evolution of many annual plants.
  • Lots of different altitudes and topographical features within a small area.  This makes for a diverse array of plants that are harvested at staggered times of year.
  • Lots of big animals that could be domesticated.
  • It wasn't as good for hunter-gatherers so they did not really compete with the people who were starting to live a sedentary, farming lifestyle.
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