ANT200 Monday January 6 2014
Origins of agriculture
- Gmo’s – genetically modified crops
- Threat or promise
- How is this different from domestication and selective breeding?
- Is the issue genetic modification or industrial farming?
- Can archaeology provide a useful perspective?
- Opinions of genetically modified food – is archaeology useful – does it help us when
thinking and looking at the world today
- Use archaeology as a lens to think about the world – not as an answer, just a way to see
- Genetically modified foods – harmful or useful for alleviating world hunger
- Ethics on genetically changing food/living things
- Selective breeding and domestication allow for changes in genetics but naturally –
modifying the food ourselves – same thing?
- Protest against the modifications? Or protest against industries who control it?
- Archaeology might help to see why gmos are such an issue – emergence of agriculture –
a lot of things contribute – factors
- How you use archaeological data – not to support or prove – but to add to discussion
- Correct diet for humanity? Can be found through archaeology?
- Domestication – might have deeper roots than originally thought – horse picture – horse
wearing a bridal – the bridal might have been added later (art was worked and reworked)
Australia: firestick farming
- Setting fire to the landscape – encouraging young plants – more animals would feed,
more chances to hunt
- Mankind are the only beings who may be said to have gained an absolute control over the
production of food – lewis henry morgan
o Humanity removes itself from the world and puts the production of food outside
of normal, biological methods – removal of humanity from nature – man controls
- The escape from the impasse of savagery was an economic and scientific revolution that
made the participants active partners with nature instead of parasites on nature – v.
Gordon childe ANT200 Monday January 6 2014
o idea of progress – humanity is progressive – progress is good – precursor to the
o agriculture was a conscious effort
o humanity becomes an equal with nature
- the idea that we as a culture, a nation, or a species are in conscious control of our
environmental and thus of our destiny is one part truth, one part rhetoric, and two parts
wishful thinking – david rindos
o remove humanity from pedestal
o nothing is particularly special about domestication and agriculture
o wish humans control everything but we don’t
o relationship between humans and nature is a back and forth
- Now the Cree people, native hunters of northeastern Canada, have a different explanation
for why reindeer… are so easy to kill. They say that the animal offers itself up, quite
intentionally and in a spirit of goodwill or even love towards the hunter – tim ingold
o Hunter gathers have a relationship with the world, with the animals, have a trust