when i was in high school and trying to decide what i wanted to study at university i toyed with several different areas of study. one of them was archaeology. i ended up entering college with an undecided major (and would later transfer to rtvf). in the college of arts & sciences two freshman seminars were required and for my first (and only) i chose one in the field of geology. the seminar was about the effect of geology and geographical location on the development of societies and dovetailed nicely with my potential major. the main text for the seminar, Guns, Germs, and Steel: the Fates of Human Societies. At the time, that book was the most interesting thing i’d ever read. later i took courses in anthropology and archaeology and learned about the maya, evolution and zooarchaeology. i suppose you could say i was stoking the fires of my interest in the development of my species.

today eric gave me a link to an article that originally appeared in Discover magazine that is along the same lines. it is about the supposed ‘biggest mistake’ to have occurred in the history of humanity – the abandonment of a hunter-gatherer–based society for an agrarian one. if you are interested in anthropology or the history of humanity in general, i think you’ll find the article pretty thought-provoking.