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The Horse, the Wheel, and Language by David W. Anthony

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CHAPTER SIXTEEN

The Opening of the Eurasian Steppes

Between about 2300 and 2000 BCE the sinews of trade and conquest began to pull the far-flung pieces of the ancient world together into a single interacting system. The mainspring that drove inter-regional trade was the voracious demand of the Asiatic cities for metal, gems, ornamental stones, exotic woods, leather goods, animals, slaves, and power. Participants gained access to and control over knowledge of the urban centers and their power-attracting abilities—a source of social prestige in most societies.1 Ultimately, whether through cultural means of emulation and resistance or political means ...

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