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ggr329 Lec 4.doc

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University of Toronto Mississauga
Pierre Desrochers

GGR329 Lecture 4 Farmer power 1. Farmer Power 2. History’s Haves and Have-nots 3. To Farm or not to Farm Human Lifestyles: Hunter-Gatherers VS Farmers Western views varied over time… Life in the State of Nature: - Solitary - Poor - Short - Nasty - Brutish 1960s: Harvard Kalahari Project, bunch of native men living in the bushes in Kalahari desert 1960s: Stone Age Economics (Marshall Sahlins) New vision: Hunger-gatherer were: - Adequately nourished - Reasonably satisfying lives - “Original affluent society”, “want no, lack not” Some: GGR329 Lecture 4 - Academics - Writers - Activists Were nostalgic of this era. View agriculture as mistake (including Diamond) Diamond on Agriculture: “Worst mistake in the history of human race” Hunter-Gatherers - Ate better - Worked less - Were taller - (perhaps) healthier Average Height in Greece and Turkey H-G (after last Ice Age) - Men 5’9 - Women 5’5 Agriculturists (3000 BC) - Men 5’3 - Women 5’ Dickson Mounds, Illinois 1150: HG  farmers (800 skeletons) Farmers - 50% increase enamel defects (malnutrition) GGR329 Lecture 4 - Iron –deficiency Why agriculture is bad for health? (14:00 mins) 1. Diet (cheap calories but poor nutrition) a. H-G: varied diet b. Early farmers: 1 or few starchy crops 2. Greater risk of starvation if crop failure 3. Crowding: living with large animals spread of parasites and infectious diseases But Backlash… - Very low birthrate - High death rate (40% children died < 15) - Infanticide and senilicide - Very high homicide rate - Life expectancy (20 < X < 29) - Not “agricultural” diseases, but zoonoses (infections transmitted to humans by wild animals or their parasites) o Rabies o Tuberculosis o Brucellosis o Plague o Tularemia o Leptospirosis o Chaga’s disease GGR329 Lecture 4 o Yellow fever o Encephalitis, etc. H-G populations stable because - Low meagerness of resources - Low fat intakes Might have resulted in - Low birth rate - Spontaneous abortions Modern population explosion occurred despite most rapid decline in fertility in human history Explanation: rapidly falling death rate Kalahari Project - Harvard team romanticized Bushmen not vestigial stone age population - Forced into Kalahari by o Europeans o Bantus - Rural proletariat - Classless Where H-G better off than first agricultural populations? Perhaps transition to agriculture not improvement, but necessity… GGR329 Lecture 4 1. Farmer Power Today, most people consume food produced by others - Livestock (& farmed fish) - Crops - Some wild food Some never did… But different people acquired food production at different times in prehistory. Crucial issue: Food production was indirectly a prerequisite for development of - Guns - Germs - Steels Schematic overview of chains of causation leading upto proximate factors from ultimate factors. MEMORIZE DIAGRAM FROM THE BOOK!!! GGR329 Lecture 4 Key points about rise of agriculture Most 200 000 wil
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