Archaeology-Lecture 5-Origins and Consequences of Food Production Nov 27 2008

35 views3 pages
23 Aug 2010
Lecture Notes
Origins and Consequences of Food Production
After the Pleistocene
x Ca. 12,000 BC, we see the following changes
o Glaciers retreat/sea levels
o Temperatures increase
o Humidity increases
o Some plant and animal species (ex: megafauna) disappear
x Many groups adapted by broadening their resource bases
o Ex: Mesolithic groups in Europe, Near East
x Increased fish, shellfish, small mammals seeds and nuts
x Later people began to intensify their exploitation of certain resources
o Ex: 8,000 BC in the Near east (SW Asia)
o Ex: 7,000 BC in Mesoamerica
x Result: populations increased size, greater degrees of sedentism
x Soon groups began selectively exploiting some plant and animal species
x This marks the transition from food collection to food production
Origins and Consequences of Food Production
x What is Food Production?
o Systematic interference with a food supply
o Increase in energy, but in some cases less land
x Two Interactive Processes (Consequences)
o Changes in plant and animal physiology
o Changes in human lifestyles
x Systematic interference in plants . . .
o Seeds become larger
o Higher yield per unit area
o Loss of natural seed dispersal mechanisms; tougher rachis in wheat, barely, and
o Crop harvested more successfully
x Definitions: Horticulture, Agriculture, Pastoralism
o Dependence on cultivation and/or animal husbandry for a majority of diet
o Horticulture
Cultivation of plants with simple hand tools
Minimal interference with land and water
Minimal animal husbandry
o Agriculture
Draft animals
o Pastoralism
Dependence on animal husbandry for survival
x Changes in Human Lifeways (Material)
o Harvesting- new tools
o Processing- new tools
Stockpiling of food for leaner months
o Harvesting: scapula shovel (Hemudu, China), microblades, sickle (Near East)
o Processing and Storage: mortar and pestle (grinding implements), pottery
Unlock document

This preview shows page 1 of the document.
Unlock all 3 pages and 3 million more documents.

Already have an account? Log in

Get OneClass Notes+

Unlimited access to class notes and textbook notes.

YearlyBest Value
75% OFF
$8 USD/m
$30 USD/m
You will be charged $96 USD upfront and auto renewed at the end of each cycle. You may cancel anytime under Payment Settings. For more information, see our Terms and Privacy.
Payments are encrypted using 256-bit SSL. Powered by Stripe.