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This page has some fundamental errors that need to be corrected. Future editors should take note that hyperdiffusionism, as the name suggests, is a particular type of extreme diffusionism. The latter is the idea that cultural / technological changes are best described as the consequence of one culture influencing or dominating (by way of trade or warfare) another. It stands in contrast to evolutionism, which suggests that technological and cultural change happens by way of internal developments. Hyperdiffusionism is the belief that one culture influences and dominates all other cultures at a particular point in time - e.g. that the ancient Egyptians directed the building of the Mayan pyramids.

Grafton Eliot Smith was a hyperdiffusionist, Thor was not since he did not argue that Mayans settled and greatly influenced Europe, Africa and Asia. There is nothing particularly irrational about suggesting that Polynesia was first settled by Mayans, which he proved was at least possible.

Diffusionism of some sort has always occurred - Marco Polo, Leif Erikson and Ibn Battuta, the desire in Europe to imitate Chinese porcelain; the silk trade and routes into Africa; and human journeys in general from Africa to Tierra Del Fuego and Tasmania. People will always trade/copy things and ideas: the error is in supposing that this is the prime cause of development. (talk) 16:20, 20 November 2014 (UTC)

There is also the suggestion that the culture which is the recipient of hyperdiffusion is a primitive people who are not capable of accomplishments on their own. The extreme of this is represented by visits from advanced aliens from outer space. But the Europeans who made contact with the indigenous peoples of the Americas could not believe that they were capable of doing much worthwhile. Thus the Lost Tribes of Israel or the Egyptians were credited. TomS TDotO (talk) 20:08, 20 November 2014 (UTC)
Most people can see that diffusion will occur to varying degrees - passive or active (missionaries, salespersons and 'I want one of those').

Funspace article - Noble Savages, New Age and urban cavemen as a form of reverse hyperdiffusion? (talk) 17:45, 26 November 2014 (UTC)


What were they supposedly too stupid to have done?

There will always be a certain amount of 'cultural and information etc diffusion' - trade, travel, 'that is a Very Good Idea/product so I will "borrow" it', missionaries etc.

Where would Offa's dinar ([1] etc) and Maria Theresa thalers fit into the hyperdiffusionist narrative? (The thaler was 'a coin of known weight and fineness of silver.') Anna Livia (talk) 11:12, 17 March 2020 (UTC)