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Week #2 Lecture g.docx

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University of Guelph
GEOG 1220
Scott Brandon

Geography Week #2 Introduction Early humans: 1. tools- created these tools and began to dominate nature 2. fire: domesticated fire 3. ecological knowledge Evolution of Tools:– Quartzite– Obsidean– Copper– Bronze– Iron – Steel Agricultural Revolution Types of Early Societies 1) Lower paleolithic or early Stone Age (>10,000 years B.P.) -savagery -opportunistic gathering of plants -scavenging / hunting of animals -highly mobile populations 2) The upper paleolithic (~8,500 – 10,000 years B.P.) -barbaric -manipulative control of wild plant and animal resources -more sophisticated hunter-gatherers -populations still mobile, but more campsites -more considered use of fire 3) Neolithic or late Stone Age (5,000-8,500 years B.P.) -gradual replacement of wild species and hunter gatherer strategies with domesticated plants and animals -permanent settlements, -pottery production -food processing equipment -exchange networks (trade) 4) Bronze Age (<5,000 years B.P.) -intensification of agriculture -less reliance on hunting and gathering -more domesticates -more and larger settlements -metal technology -more sophisticated trade networks Environmental Impacts of Hunting and Gathering from Early Societies 1) Impact of fire: a) Forests were burned to create grasslands (Tasmania) b) Hunter gathers ate bracken ferns and burned openings in the forest for these ferns to grow, lead to extinction of species of birds c) England hunter gathers ate deer, burned forest to open the deer’s habitat 2) Impact of hunting: a) overkill (Pleistocene overkill, 200 of the mega fauna mammals were extinct) 3) Impact of gathering: a) not much evidence of the impact Agricultural Revolution: Agricultural Societies -Agricultural societies are characterized by the cultivation of domesticated plants and animal for human use. -Domestication: the controlling of the genetics of a plant or animal population by the planned selection of plant seeds and animals’ parents; the process by which plant and animal species come to depend on humans for survival while, in turn, providing humans with practical or other benefits Why agriculture??? *Sheep domesticated from the moufillon *cattle domesticated from auroch -no idea where plant domestication began 1. Possible we saw animals eating the plants –wheat, 2. Remove predators so there was more wheat, 3. Collected the largest seed it would produce large seeds) We increasingly manipulated the world around us and the resources. Types of Agricultural Societies 1. Pastoral Nomadism -definition: the rotation grazing of domesticated herbivores (sustainable form of agriculture) 1-5 years before you could use the same spot again (usually 1-5 years, 1 year would be on a mountain) -usually occurred in semi-arid grass -environmental impacts: Cultural value: wealth of the individual was measured by the number of cattle -Natural variability of resources in a resource-limited environment (and carrying capacity), could have a lot of rain, (more cattle) and dry (not enough), erosion, -Pastoral nomadism: solutions 1. Convert to sedimentary farming (social costs, move from traditional method of living) 2. Building wells (increased water and had circles around the wells) 3. Modifying the cattle (more cattle than the environment could tolerate) 2. Shifting Cultivation -definition: shift in cultivated fields over time, occurs in wet tropical environments, return time is much longer 30-40 years, burn the piece of forest (conduct agriculture for a few years, then move), came back to the spot before it was regrown leading to extinctions. -environmental impacts: habitat loss, extinctions, sometimes the fire burns so hot it burns the organic material in the soil. - e.g. clearing, and so on A
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