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Inspiration of the Day: The Period of Geological History that Shaped Cultural Experience.

04 Dec

For a group that tends to change rapidly, seminal movements in our collective experiences hook into our cultural memories.  The Hypsithermal is a four thousand year long period of climatic change starting shortly after the end of the last ice age.  During this time, world temperature rose approximately 4 degrees celsius at the poles and the world saw great differences in the regional weather patterns (e.g: the Green Sahara).

Generally, sea levels are higher and weather different than current day, though average temperatures were approximately the same in most areas of the world.  Glaciation receded during this period of climate change.  Near the end of the phase, signs would have begun appearing that the world was cooling.  In most places in the world, this period of time was wonderful for cultural development and you see the establishment of lands and the beginnings of the cultural identities of the Maya, Incas, Aztec, the Woodland in the US, Greece and Mesopotamian cultures, and the myriad peoples of the Indian subcontinent.

During this time is when the development of the famous calendar systems of the Maya and the Hindu began; both of which are now later recognized as foretelling a great cultural catastrophe as we head closer to December 21, 2012.  Even the Greeks and Mesopotamian peoples point to this era in their philosophies and other work.  As an understatement, it should be clear just how important nature is and why there were so many attempts to divine what was going on in the world’s climate as the earth began to cool and the ice began to return to mountain tops.  These are things that would have very much been noticed by humans.

In understanding the history of climate and how humans have interacted with it, it becomes clear that it is completely apparent as to the need to determine and discuss global climate change.  Our ancestors watched, plotted, and considered the environment’s signs and the direction it was heading.  This is why there are cycles of man according to the Maya and Hindu.  Most specifically, the Maya’s eschatology focuses on change through climate and other natural events and disasters that would unavoidably be faced by humanity as we enter into a new age.  This makes complete sense, as they were a people with long enough memory see the change from the Ice Age to the Hypsithermal and then the return to normal during the Holocene.

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