For reasons we will probably never understand, Westerners and Easterners came up with different ways to give thanks to and get in contact with the ancestors. Some Westerners apparently thought that passing their relatives’ skulls around, filling buildings with bulls’ heads and pillars, and sacrificing people in them would do the trick; Easterners generally felt better about burying carved jade animals with their relatives, worshipping their tombs, and eventually beheading other people and throwing them in the grave too. Different strokes for different folks; but similar results.

– Ian Morris, Why the West Rules – for Now: The Patterns of History and What They Reveal about the Future (2011)

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