The early history of civilization is dominated by those cultures we discussed in Chapter Two. However, there were a number of other important civilizations that emerged during this same time period. These smaller civilizations were heavily influenced by their larger and more powerful neighbors.
Trade routes brought distant travelers into new lands. With them they carried the technologies, ideas and cultures from one land to another. Sitting in the middle of these trade routes were the civilizations of the Middle East.
There is no end to the things you can accomplish.
Crude oil was being drilled for in ancient China. In the 6th century it was recorded that hollow bamboo rods were driven into the ground in search of brine to provide salt for cattle. In the process, they also came across natural gas and flammable petroleum, which they used themselves or sold for fuel.