Transport around 13,000 BC

The Globe




Southwest Asia




Indus Valley






South America




North America



…as I thought through everything I had learned about the Jomon I realized how far I had moved from the original preconceptions I had held about them. For here were a people who had explored their world by land and sea - reaching the Americas at least twice between 15,000 and 5000 years ago. Here were a people who had used pottery millennia before anyone else and gone on to refine it into a beautiful art form. Here were a people who engineered their landscape to create sacred mountains, circles of stone, temples of rock. Here were a people who lived in harmony with their environment, who made use of an intelligent mixture of strategies to ensure comfortable survival and security for the future, and who successfully avoided the pitfalls of militarism, materialism, conspicuous consumption and overpopulation that so many other cultures of the ancient world lost their way in. Here, above all, was a people whose civilization remained intact and flourished – decently, humanely, even generously, as far as we can know these things from the archaeological record, for more than 14,000 years. (Underworld)