Blanche DuBois, Tennessee Williams’ wide-eyed protagonist who relied on “the kindness of strangers,” had nothing on ancient farmers.
In rapidly expanding settlements, early cultivators had no choice but to bargain for daily goods with lots of folks they didn’t know. A fundamental redefinition of a fair deal soon followed, according to a new cross-cultural study.
Around 10,000 years ago, residents of large farming communities had to learn to make fair exchanges with strangers and to retaliate against selfish exploiters, researchers propose in the March 19 Science.
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