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Lecture 10

AGRICULTURE – Lecture 10th.docx

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Ryerson University
Genevieve Dewar

AGRICULTURE – Lecture 10 th The Holocene ~10kya  General warming of earth’s climate o Receding glaciers and raising sea levels, drowning coastlines  General environment change o Development of seasons in northern climates  Movement of vegetation types where glacier ices one were thus increasing diversity Marine Isotope Stages  Global warming of the earth for the past 10kya Pleistocene/Holocene  Extinction of certain species (i.e. megafauna)  requiring a shift is subsistence strategies – hunter/gatherer  Development of localized culture as different responses to change 3 types: 1. Expand diet to include species previously unavailable 2. ****Some regions had great bounty and people became more sedentary based on the food patches available 3. Narrowed diet and focus intensely on a few specific species EUROPE = Mesolithic period < ----- > NORTH AMERICA = Archaic period Plain Hunters  deals with the relic of big game hunting strategies  From Alaska to Gulf of Mexico o Continuation of Paleo-Indian culture using the last refuge of megafauna o The great Bison belt  last megafauna  Tactic to hunt bison was to find a cliff and drive the herd off the cliff  Do the kill shot afterwards To the west we see a broadening of the diet in North America  The Great Basin, west and southwest grasslands, very few if any Bison o Artifacts found that date back to 10kya period  Basketry  Grind stones o Collect seeds in baskets then use grind stone to grind it into flowers  Moving in small groups based on water to find springs or live near mountains  One of the most successful desert adaptations is living along the coast of British Columbia where they’re able to focus on fish Eastern North America  Melting of glacial ice revealed woodlands and forests from Nova Scotia to Florida  Broad variety of resources from acorns to shellfish and riverine species  As the environment continued to get better, resources were abundant  Populations grew becoming more sedentary and societies because more complex Inuits and Aleuts  Recent migration into North America eventually reaching Greenland by 2000BC o Lived be sea mammals, exploitation of many whales and seals  specialist sea hunters  Range of artifacts i.e. kayaks, various harpoon techniques Meanwhile in Africa & Middle East (See: Magdelaninan tool culture  use of small knives, which was the precursor for the agricultural revolution)  Increased use of plant species o Hunting less important  Abundance of sickles and grindstones for processing grasses  Presence of carbonized wild barley, oats, wheat, and rye Neolithic Revolution  transition from Mesolithic/archaic o Not really a revolution because it was more gradual o Wasn’t intentional but more a side-effect of food intake diversification  Shift from hunting/gathering to food production (agricultural and pastoralism)  Includes domestication of plants & animals  therefore constant food supply  Increased sedentism, population growth, and new social cultures DOMESTICATION = ARTIFICIAL SELECTION ********* (this definition will be on the exam)  Uses artificial selection to change animals/plants for human need***** o Usually not the same traits naturally selected for but live on by human care o Begins approximately 12kya o Oldest species ever domesticated were dogs Plants  Early domestication was not intentional o Select berries with the largest fruit Signs of Domestication How do we identify domestication in the archaeological record?  In plants, changes from wild to domestic forms have 3 characteristics: 1. Seed Size 2. Seed Coat Thickness 3. Seed Dispersal Mechanism 1) Seed Size  Larger seeds germinate faster and aren’t weeded out, while plants of slower germination seeds are removed during weeding  Numerous genrations means size of plants gets bigger 2) Seed Coat Thickness  In nature, it’s advantageous to have a thicker seed coat especially in northern climates  survival of first frots  They take longer to germinate so that they’re not killed by the frosts  To prevent being digested by birds, some species of plants coevolved so that they need to go through the bird’s stomach acid then can germinate  But taking a long time to germinate is disadvantageous to humans so we’ve been sel
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