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1AA3 Day 20.docx

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McMaster University
Sandra Preston

April 4/2013 Anthropology 1AA3 Consequences of Agriculture Required Reading: Chapter 3 pp. 131 – 150 Last class: origins of agriculture in multiple locations evidence for domesticated plants and animals Theories about the origins of agriculture: - Textbook: pg. 131-135 - Climate change o Human populations started to settle in areas with lots of resources and water o Climate change forced human groups into a different type of subsistence strategy - Population and resource pressure o As populations got larger, more pressure was put on their resources o Humans started to shift their subsistence practices to produce extra food to feed a growing population  We don’t have lots of evidence for a booming population, the pattern shows that agriculture developed THEN population size increased - Social factors o Hypothesis focuses on the role of competition o People were compelled to produce a lot to show their status in society - Ecological factors (“readiness”) Agriculture: Blessing or Curse? - Agriculture is fundamental to our subsistence as human beings o But at what cost? The Impact of Agriculture - Fundamental change in the way humans interact with their environment o From dependency on natural resources to control over domesticated resources - Major changes in diet - Changes in demography, economy, urbanization, etc. Village Life - Domestication = Sedentism - Investment in architecture - Decreased infant mortality = increased population - Larger social groups o Potential for greater social complexity (>200 people…) April 4/2013 Why Nutritional Status Might Decline with Agriculture - Dependence on one main crop and potential for crop failure o Some places focus
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