The Steppe & the Sown

The Steppe & the Sown

The Steppe & the Sown

The Steppe & the Sown

Excerpt

From time immemorial the peaceful grain-growers, fully engaged with the cultivation of their crops, have suffered from the depredations of nomad pastoral folk, who wandered with their flocks and herds on the waste spaces around them. Such raids have been of constant recurrence throughout the history of the Old World, in the Far East with greater frequency and until more recent times than in the West. Such raids have repeatedly destroyed civilizations for a time, though the conquerors have usually become civilized by their subjects. Thus a new civilization has arisen, rejuvenated by the fresh air of the steppes and deserts.

This volume deals with the first of such raids that took place on a large scale, destroying as it did the Old Kingdom in Egypt, and bringing to an end by a more gradual process the rule of the city states of Sumer. That raids, all of great magnitude, should have occurred almost simultaneously in many parts of the Near East, has led some writers to believe that the whole series were occasioned by a period of prolonged drought, leading to a diminished grass supply in the steppes and deserts. This may be so, but we have pointed out another, either additional or alternative, cause: the taming of the horse.

Many thanks are due to the authors, editors, and publishers of the following works and journals for permission to reproduce figures: Pflanzen-und Tierverbreitung, 1899, byA. Kirchhoff (F. Tempsky, Vienna), for fig. 2; La Pontide préscythique, in Eurasia Septentrionalis Antiqua, vol. i, byA. M. Tallgren (La Société Finlandaise d'Archéologie), for figs. 6, 8, 9, 12, 13, and 14; Iranians and Greeks in South Russia, byM. Rostovtzeff (Clarendon Press), for fig. 7; Dawn of European Civilization, byV. Gordon Childe (Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., Ltd.), for figs. 9, 44, 46, and 70; Salaminia, byA. P. di Cesnola (Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., Ltd.), for fig. 64a; British Museum Quarterly . . .

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