The culture of Lattara was centered on trade and commerce during its time. Located on the Mediterranean in what is now the south of France, Lattara had access to the commercial highway of its time. Traders had crossed the ocean to people groups as far as Egypt and sent precious items in circulation across the Mediterranean world.
American culture is centered on commerce just as the civilization in Lattara was. There is an emphasis on possessions, both in quantity and quality. Nonsensical items are purchased although they have no other purpose than to brighten the look of a room, and jewelry is bought to beautify the look of a person. Floor mosaics and Egyptian scarab beetles are just a few of the items found in the ruins of the civilization at Lattara that exemplify this theme. They are purely decorative items and speak of a culture focused on the beautification of life and the exchange of goods.
There is a change in priorities from the Neolithic to the Protohistoric time period that is interesting. In the Neolithic period, priorities were focused on the afterlife, and people groups did not create things of permanence for their earthly life. During the Protohistoric period, however, the here and now becomes the part of life that the people want to celebrate, and they purchase goods in order to make their everyday life easier and more beautiful. The culture is easily recognizable to people living today because there is a shared formula for life that has not changed since 400 BC. It is that in this life people want “things.”
However, with the exchange of goods also comes the exchange of ideas. New forms of religion come from across the ocean and affect the religious diversity in the area. In class, it was discussed that Judaism, Greek religious cults, and other religions had begun to establish themselves in other parts of the world and would have been spread through traveling merchants. This is the way that Islam would be spread through Africa later in history.
Trade on the Mediterranean is a factor that becomes important to French and world history. Fast forward from 400 BC to 1500 AD and Europe will be searching for ways to reach Africa and Asia without using the Mediterranean. European countries will be in the “space race” of the world oceans that will lead to the discovery of the Americas. Although trade has caused many facets of life to change, it has remained a constant feature in human life, so it is interesting that it has already begun to establish itself in a time period so long ago.