When Jared Diamond wrote his essay Guns, Germs and Steel. A Brief History of Everybody for the Last 13,000 Years purported to show a picture of the history of mankind from an ecological rather than an exclusively cultural viewpoint. His work – which later was awarded a Pulitzer Prize – focused on a question: why did the civilizations that developed along the Fertile Crescent somehow conquer the rest of the planet? A series of environmental advantages in the history of humankind allowed those civilizations to develop advanced war techniques and technologies, to select resistance to diseases that at a later stage would exterminate, for instance, populations in the Americas and above all to establish a system of cultural exchanges that helped the development of the iron an...