Chapter 7 Question 1

Hamilto786's picture

In aboriginal societies, there were many technological innovations over time. Some of these innovations were widespread, others were fairly isolated. 

The most obvious explanation to this is the environment. Chances are, a society in the prairies wouldn't need sun goggles or sleds, and a society in the arctic wouldn't need farming tools. In addition, some societies might experience isolated hardships that other societies in a region wouldn't experience which would drive the innovation of different technologies. For example, if there are multiple societies living along a river, and one of the societies lives in a lower area that floods more often than other areas along the same river, they would eventually develop technology that nobody else would have a use for. Sometimes different societies would develop multiple solutions to the same problem. They might both be equally effective so neither of the technologies would spread beyond the societies that created them.

In contrast, some technologies might be useful no matter where you live, like tools and weapons made of materials that can have a very sharp edge, like obsidian or flint. You can find widespread use of these materials all over the Americas. These tools are effective at killing living things (hunting and warfare), which was pretty important everywhere,

There probably were cases where similar technologies were invented in different places separately from eachother, but it's likely that the most effective technologies would spread through contact and trade. If a trader found a tool or technology from another culture that was more effective than what they used, the trader would probably spread knowledge of that tool around. 

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