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(Disclaimer: I've not seen that documentary so I'm sure what exactly it said.) Sort of. In a literal sense, Angkor Wat was built upon a sea of groundwater. The city was built in a very wet and water-rich area; much of this water found its way underground. At the lower levels, the water fills up all the pores and holes in the sandy soil. The water table ...


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There are a couple of factors here I haven't seen mentioned: Skyscrapers are generally office buildings, often owned by a single company. Asian skyscrapers often mean to represent economical success of a company. Buildings in countries like Japan are generally built for short term, couple of decades, no more. Also, centralized policy on architecture is ...


1

It is because European cities have building height restrictions. For example, London has a 1000-foot absolute restriction and it is very rare for any building over 250 feet high to be permitted. Paris has similar laws that prevent the construction of any building over about 200 feet (12 stories). The reasons given for these restrictions are given out as to ...


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The problem with the Thesis in Gun, Germs, and Steel is that we have one example of an E-W megacontinent (Eurasia) and one example of a N-S one (the Americas). Africa is a bit small, and vague on E-W vs N-S. The Island comparison probably fails due to the small size of any island, so the different terrain zones are similar.


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The following data are taken entirely from the Angus Maddison (GDP per capita) project database (Jan 2013 update). In 1965, Singapore's GDP per capita was $2,667 (in 1990 dollars). This put Singapore at a higher GDP per capita than every East and South Asian country, with the exceptions of Japan ($5,934) and Hong Kong ($4,825). For comparison, countries ...


1

I agree that scattered Austronesian landings on the big island continent may well have prevented this culture from building up any significant numbers to thrive. But I don't think it would be due to any hostility of Aborigines that they wouldn't. I'd say that the locals would expect some sort of compensation like seafood, for the imposition on their lands, ...



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