Sunday, August 07, 2005

Deadly Llama Cavalry

In my new job as an Economist, I am spending a considerable ammount of time retuning my mind to think along the lines that I learned while in school. As a part of this process, I found the following on a very interesting archive of Economic Texts.

It is essentially a discussion of an argument that perhaps Eurasian Economic and Military strength came about because they had access to animals that were more easily domesticated than those in Africa or the Americas.

The author makes the point that this analysis could suffer from the powers of hindsight - that if in 1492 Montezuma had landed in Spain with deadly llama cavalry, then perhaps we would now be talking about how the difficulty in domesticating the horse relative to the llama led to the conquest of the Eurasian new world by the Aztecs or Incas.