State evolution and cricket

McMullin, Elise emcmullin at
Fri Jun 23 12:16:54 EDT 2000

Ven mentioned a book:

"The author pointed out that our money  is in fact no more real than the so

called primitive valuables. That was a real eye opener."

Don't you love it?  Sometimes I like to think about that and about people
and money - attitudes, beliefs, systems, uses - all those things.  It's an
odd, sort of active, slippery metaphor made concrete.  

"Incidentally the Minoans are my favourite ancient people ever. If I 
ever got a shot at time travel I would go to the palace of  Phaistos 
on Crete at roundabout the time the civilisation was really kicking 
off and they were inventing it all from scratch (hey they were so 
civilised even had flush toilets). Where would other people go? 

A couple of books I've read - The Golden Gryphon Feather by Richard Purtill
(a girl is part of the 7 lads/7 maids tribute to Minos - she learns how to
bull jump and becomes best buddies with Ariadne - nice illustrations too).
It was very original, fresh and well thought out.  Those look like spoilers
but they aren't.   And Winged Pharaoh by Joan Grant, a recent favorite of
mine (in fact, I keep giving it away and having to order it again).  Winged
Pharaoh is mainly about Old Kingdom, 1st dynasty Egypt - but they establish
diplomatic relations with Keftu and go for a long visit.  I particularly
like the descriptions of the ladies clothing in that  :D

But I must point out that in northern India they have found the earliest
examples yet of urban planning, plumbing and drainage.  An Indian-american
friend of mine was just bemoaning the lack of attention to Harappa,
Mohenjo-daro and the variety of similar sites connected to the same culture
and dating from 3000 b.c.(e).  My browser is being mulish at the moment and
refuses to take me there, but I wanted to give a hotlink to
It must still be up. It must!  

But to say the Minoans weren't the first with plumbing is not to slag them
in any way - they were so cool!  Their frescoes are wonderful, their dresses
are paradigm-busting (aheh).  Everything about them, from the palaces, to
the labrys, to bull-jumping, weaving and those snake lady statuettes is so

On the whole I think we underestimate the past.  Here's an article about
evidence of 27,000 year old cloth - so much for grunting troglodytes:
I also think Elizabeth Wayland Barber's Women's Work: The First 20,000 Years
very worthwhile.  And here I see she has another one I haven't read called:
Prehistoric Textiles...With Special Reference to the Aegean.

And speaking of creation v. evolution, noble method v. debased skullduggery
and so on. The debate
rages on, here:

I am not feeling off-topic guilt at all because I've rationalized it.  We
pursue the spirit if not the letter by talking about interesting things.
After all, you all are so smart and interesting - of course we must take the
opportunity to let the reins slacken so the conversation may have its head!

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