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Monday August 28th 2017Tim Candler9

 

     One of the first societies to learn how to take surplus from agriculture emerged on the beautiful soil of an alluvial plain upon which, in a really excellent year, nine inches of rain would fall. Their major source of water was from two giant rivers which would regularly flood in a most a terrifying way. To make the soil bountiful through the dry seasons, wondrous works of irrigation were devised. The consequence of the surplus produced has given this part of the world a claim to the title Cradle of Civilization. Things like writing and sums, stone tablet laws, standing armies, cities, accountants and contract law.

 

Past

      Water from rivers is different to water from rain. The water from a river is subject to trace elements a river picks up from the lands through which it travels. In the burning heat on poorly drained ground, irrigated water evaporates leaving dissolved salts in the soil. Over time these salts build and the simpler more humble things such as Wheat can struggle to produce the surplus that some will argue civilization depends upon. Others might think twice before jumping to the conclusion that nothing could have been done to save the surplus. My own view, call it eccentric if you wish to, civilization is down to us not surplus. Sadly I'm usually wrong about these things.

 

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