Summarise and compare the evidence for the development of agriculture in South West Asia and North America.
The two continents provide a very different insight into the development of agriculture. America with its slow alterations, for example the gathering that continued and the consistency of crops remaining in their natural habitat until much later for example the May grass. South West Asia reveals a different approach where although still gradual development the use of tools and grinders support the discovery of cultivation and domestication leading this continent towards villages and eventually civilizations with trade and travel as its force for change as early humans emulated and adapted. The southwest begins its agricultural shift in a position of power in comparison to the Americas. Varying plants and animals that could eventually be domesticated. The south west was ideal for hunting and gathering producing much flora and fauna with the 250mmr of rainfall. Significant changes occurred around 1100-9600 BC with the Younger Dryas cooling the terrain. Dependency on hunting may have proven a hardship and cultivation being more labour intensive yet reliable as means of control appears to have defined beginning as the environment returned and stabilised .By 6000BC agriculture proved successful and became widespread. This marked the beginning of the Neolithic villages and the eventual culture shift to ceramics and religion. North America had a later progress, the beginnings of cultivation began in Mesoamerica and may have spread north by migrates who imprinted their knowledge. Larger amounts of maize were discovered in smaller apparently less developed sites in South west north America showing an already developed cultigens in foreign terrain. South west Asia also saw a large spread out from the ‘hilly flanks’ referenced by Flannery. North America had limited cultigens in comparison to south west Asia. The Americas having s examples such as quash, maize, beans sump weed , sunflowers and beans. Asia produced wheat, barley, rye and an assortment of wild animals residing on the hilly flanks that could be successfully domesticated such as sheep and goats. South west Asia’s key produce was the Rye revealed by studies into the Jordan valley and Syria during the intensified cultivating years of the Neolithic period around 8800 BC. Leading to a population growth which does not become obvious in north America as nomadic living continues and although cultigens were successfully developed a dependency on hunting and gathering was favoured. Squash was used as floats for fishing and so thinner membranes were preferred later their touch exterior was preferred when needed as bowls. An example of change by humans. Social exchange features in both areas although it appears that the feasting theory is better supported by southwest Asia as Americas show a reluctance to settle and created lineages. At Carlston Annis, South west north America a much later site entering the woodland period provided human faecal matter that proved a major dependency on wild foods especially from the woods. It would appear that after thousands of years of cultivation with travel and trade the hunter gatherers still relied on the foods. This reluctance does not appear in southwest Asia. The manipulation of crops and animals provide direct link to the first semi-sedentary farmers called the Natufians in the late Epipaleolithic 12,000-9600. Material remains and cultural traits are in key areas, subsequent layers of deposits reveal long and repeated occupation. Stone implements as morters for grinding .The Natufians had also left the shelter of the cave to build their own structures ( Dorothy Garrod 1898-1968). The late Paleoindians relied on rock shelters and created major earthworks as shown at Koster in Illinois and Eva in Tennessee. Eva showing links to the earlier Paleo-Indian with its recognisable toolkit found in the archaic...
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