Emergence of Agriculture.docx

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Department
Agricultural Studies
Course
AGST 1000
Professor
Henning Bjourlund
Semester
Fall

Description
Emergence of Agriculture September 12 The spread of humans - Earliest stages of human evolution took place in Africa. Distinct evolution of humans around 7 million years ago. - Substantially upright 4 million years ago - Increase in body size 2.5 million years ago - Homo erectus 1.7 million years ago - Homo Sapiens 500,000 years ago - Where did settled agriculture emerge? Why did settled agriculture emerge? - A number of factors interacted: Population pressure on resources: Animals and territory for hunting becoming scarce - A reduced return for labor - Climate volatility (becoming warmer and dryer) changed the environment, large animals went up the mountains and crops did as well. - Growing crops and domestic herds of sheep and goat increased food security. - Increased productivity of the land, of the young and the old in the community. What is “The Neolithic Revolution” - The adoption of early farming techniques, crop cultivation, and the domestication of animals. - An increased tendency to live in permantent or semi-permanent settlements. - New deveolpemts in social organization(hierarchy and priests) and in technology (tools, storage) - The development of land ownership, rather than agreement on usufruct rights to hunting territory - An increased reliance on vegetable and cereal food in the total diet. - “Trading economies” that use surplus production from increasing crop yields. “Founder Crops” Spread of food production - Ecnomonies where “founder crops” were adapted, prospered and trade followed - Demand for agricultural tools encouraged trade and exchange of idea’s - Improved seeds and animal stock moved ot their parts and supplemental local crops - In aread of food origin- food production becam enriched by the addition of crops, .ivestock and techniques from other areas. - Where rainfall was insufficient irrigation occurred. - Many different varieties of each crop existed simultaneously - Each farmer stored and use his own seeds for next year’s crop - Many local grasses, legumes and pulses were cultivated as well. East-West Spread - East-west spread was encouraged because same latitude (day length and season variation) - Share same deceases, regime of rainfall and temperature and vegetation. - These factors determine what plants and animals can be produced - Same growth condition and plant evolution - Promoted spread across Eurasia which are wide and narrow in east west direction North-South Spread - North-south spread more difficult - Temperature decreases - Rainfall caries - Growing hours change - Seasonality changes - This restricts the spread of food production - Restricted spread on the American continent which is long and narrow in N-S direction - Also mountains and other physical barriers Transportation
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