Reply to Comment on “Emergence of complex societies after sea level stabilized”



Washington [this issue] raised a number of interesting points that serve to clarify the origins of civilizations on continental margins. We linked the initial development of civilizations to coastal margin productivity [Day et al., 2007]. Washington argues that a number of early civilizations were not related to marine productivity, but rather were centered around the exploitation and cultivation of riparian grains. However, we defined coastal margins to include upwellings, estuaries, and lower floodplains affected by coastal water levels. Thus, the Nile, Mesopotamia, Indus, Mississippi, and Yellow societies were influenced by coastal margin productivity.