Origin of Agriculture (Short)

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Ch 10 Agriculture

Origins of Agriculture
The last thirty years have seen a revolution in our understanding of the origins of agriculture. What was once seen as a pattern of unilateral human exploitation of domesticated crops and animals has now been described as a pattern of coevolution and mutual domestication between human beings and their various domesticates. A new concept is now commonly viewed as the adoption of techniques and ultimately an economy long known to foragers in which invention played little or no role. Since many domesticates are plants that in the wild naturally accumulate around human habitation and garbage, and thrive in disturbed habitats, it seems very likely that the awareness of their growth patterns and the concepts of planting and tending would have been clear to any observant forager; thus, the techniques were not new. They simply waited use, not discovery. In fact, the concept of domestication may have been practiced first on nonfood crops such as the bottle gourd or other crops chosen for their utility long before the domestication of food plants and the ultimate adoption of food economies based on domesticates (farming). Origins of Agriculture

The last thirty years have seen a revolution in our understanding of the origins of agriculture. What was once seen as a pattern of unilateral human exploitation of domesticated crops and animals has now been described as a pattern of coevolution and mutual domestication between human beings and their various domesticates. A new concept is now commonly viewed as the adoption of techniques and ultimately an economy long known to foragers in which invention played little or no role. Since many domesticates are plants that in the wild naturally accumulate around human habitation and garbage, and thrive in disturbed habitats, it seems very likely that the awareness of their growth patterns and the concepts of planting and tending would have been clear to any observant forager; thus, the...
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