So in between more ongoing projects than I can count* I've been picking at the horse archer cultures. The bug got started reading Herodutus' accounts of the Scythians**, and since then I've been supplementing it with some online reading and the occasional podcast.
Which has me wondering about the Jared Diamond thing again. Some of the things I heard described as things the steppe archers did was exactly like stories I heard living out west about the plains Indians - this technique with the bow, that riding exercise.... Surely there were differences, but the commonalities were fairly striking.
It makes me wonder.. how much of that culture is unique and self-perpetuating - and how much really is as Dimond would say, a product of their physical environment? I suppose it's the same nature vs nurture argument on a larger scale.
wuh. Enough philosophizing. Time to go make people happy. :)
*I swear, I get to stay in one night this week.. it's all good stuff, but tiring!
** Say what you will about the more medieval strains of Islam now, it's telling that it actually improved things there from the sound of it. I mean... skull drinking cups and human leather napkins? Gah! Like a whole freaking country of Manson followers. *shudder*