Emergence of Agriculture
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
- An increased tendency to live in permantent or semi-permanent settlements.
- New deveolpemts in social organization(hierarchy and priests) and in technology (tools,
- The development of land ownership, rather than agreement on usufruct rights to hunting
- 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 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 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