sometimes i start thinking about ‘deep time’ and i get almost vertiginous.
not even geologic time-scales! or cosmic time-scales! just human time-scales!
but there is more time between the rise of agriculture/people in catal hoyuk and the pyramids than there is between the pyramids and now
there is more time between the domestication of the dog and catal hoyuk than there is between the founding of that settlement and now
there is more time between the first anatomically modern humans and the domestication of the wolf than there is between dogs and now
those people who lived 5000, 12,000, 40,000, 120,000 years ago (and even well before) they were people, with inner lives and hopes and fears and dreams and if you took one of them as an infant and plopped them into 2016 society they’d grow up tech-savvy and fluent in fucking internet memes because biologically/mentally they’re identical to current people
the overwhelming majority of human history- just talking about h. sapiens sapiens here for the sake of argument though pre-sapiens homonids were likely also ‘people’ in very real and significant ways -we all lived and died in small bands, told stories, cooperated, fought, muddled along
then some clever asshole(s) figured out ‘hey the place where we keep throwing those waste seeds sure is growing a whole lot of edible plants. HMMMM’ and things started changing.
and that was EIGHT THOUSAND YEARS BEFORE ANYONE EVEN THOUGHT UP CUNEIFORM
WHICH IS ALMOST SIX THOUSAND YEARS OLD
like, okay, i can wrap my head around ‘humanity is a blip on the earth’s time scale’. An even smaller blip on the cosmic scale. But to a mere mortal shmuck, humanity itself, the tiniest most insignificant blip on the cosmic radar, is vast
fucking agriculture is at best a tenth of human history. cities? More like a twentieth.