Once upon a time, in a faraway land.....there was no war or political intrigue....for roughly two thousand years. Yeah, it sounds like a good fictional piece for a science fiction show or some less violent Game of Thrones. But it's true.
I often read far and wide from the regular news crowd and came upon this piece written over the Harappan people. The article? By Annalee Newitz....."How Did This Ancient Civilization Avoid War for 2,000 Years"....over at Io9.
As you head south out of the Himalayan Mountains in Nepal.....there's this big grand valley where the water flows into. To the west are mountains (Pakistan), and the east is India's flat desert region. The river heads on off to the gulf. You can kinda imagine it as the Tennessee Valley area resting south of the Rocky Mountains, with a gentle breeze and mild temperatures, and a rich fertile soil that grows just about anything you desire.
What Ms Newitz points out.....is that life just kept going on and on there.....with no noted military campaign, war, or battles. Nor is there any evidence of big-name political figures, kings, emperors, or conquering generals. Normally, it's hard to find a society that exists more than a hundred years without some town burned down, or some mass grave area. The Harappans? Well....there just isn't any plain evidence of trouble or chaos.
What the smart guys will say is that Harappans developed themselves into a culture or society around 6,000 years ago. They went through all the standard developments....weights, measurements, language, written word, agriculture, etc. They had plumbing, flowing water, organized villages, and streets.
The story from Ms Newitz points out the eventual decline of the valley....mostly through over-farming, TB, disease, and folks just packing up to leave. The society declined enough....that it could not survive.
But this all brings me back to the original topic.....a place where no political turmoil or intrigue existed, and wars simply didn't occur with neighbors or from within. There's not a society in existence today that can match up with this record of 2,000 years. The source of avoidance? Until the day that we decipher the language and take apart what little written words exist.....we are stuck with no idea over the way they made it that far with no problems.
A happy place? Probably. A society just content on farming and local gossip? Maybe. Course, they didn't have the 24-hour news cycle, the New York Times, Karl Rove, or the Democratic National Committee to deal with. Nor did they have some Hitler character from the next valley over, or some nutcase always talking up his connection as a prophet to God. Maybe it was just plain dumb stupid luck.....which would be sad to admit.
Anyway....it's a four-star reading piece.....worth a fifteen-minute pause, and might make you reflect upon our society today and it's woes.