Chapter 15 Summary

In the final section of Guns, Germs, and Steel, Diamond reviews the histories of five geographic areas, exploring the question of why they developed to the points they did—and no further—by A.D. 1500. He begins with Australia, the continent that had the least complex technology, the lowest population density, and perhaps the most distinctive societies of all.

Australia was inhabited by modern humans very early, perhaps even before Europe. Its people had some of the earliest stone tools, the earliest hafted blades, and the earliest boats. However, Australia’s people did not develop as much technology from that point as one might expect. Even more perplexing, Australia’s society did not develop the food...

(The entire section is 658 words.)