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Early Food Production

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Anthropology 2100
Peter Timmins

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Dec, 03, 2012 Early Food Production Mesolithic Kebaran Culture – 25,000-15,000 BP: -Small, mobile hunting and gathering groups with small geometric microliths who were adapted to desert, grassland and woodland environments and the Ohalo site was submerged so there is good organic preservation with six oval huts and 77 animal species recovered Natufian Culture – 15,000-12,000 BP: -Intensive harvesters of wild wheat and barley and intensive hunters of gazelles using communal drive techniques -Their tool kit included mortars and pestles, grinding stones, and bone sickles with flint blades (sickle gloss on blades) and they later became sedentary and built substantial houses -Sites were located in "ecotonal" situations like the Mediterranean hill zone /coastal plains/grassland valleys -There is some evidence for social ranking in burial practices from grave goods like seashells, and stone bowls -During the Younger Dryas Interval (12,950-11,600 BP) temperatures became much colder and there was reduced area available for settlement and may have forced domestication of plants to increase productivity Early Neolithic Cultural Chronology: -Pre-Pottery Neolithic A (PPNA: 12,000 – 10,800 years ago) -Pre-Pottery Neolithic B (PPNB: 10,800 – 8,500 years ago) -Late Neolithic (8,500 – 7,000 ya) The Early Neolithic in the Levantine Corridor: -Netiv Hagdud in Israel (ca. 12-11,000 ya – PPNA) spans 1.5 ha on tributary of the Jordan River and the site has oval mud brick houses housing 20-30 families (100-200 people) who were becoming sedentary -They lived by hunting, fishing, and collecting and there have been more than 50 wild plants recovered -They cultivated or collected two-row barley with a tough rachis that was initially identified as domestic barley but it could be wild, since wild stands contained some tough-rachised plants Gilgal Jordan Valley (PPNA): -Have evidence of domesticated figs that were not capable of reproducing without human intervention because the branches must be cut off and planted Abu Hureyra Syria (PPNA-B): -Hunter-gatherers lived there 12,500 years ago and it was re-occupied at 11,000 years ago -They were raising sheep and goats and growing cereals by 10,000 BP showing the transition from round pit houses to rectangular mud brick houses and the PPNB village had 1400+ houses and an estimated population of 5000 -Theya Molleson’s studies of human skeletons (females) show deformation related to repetitive tasks like grinding grain and carrying loads on the head as shown by a thickening of upper vertebrae and arthritic toes Jericho Jordan (PPNA): -Was a Natufian camp (12,000 ya) and a village by ca. 11,000 ya with massive stone wall (1.5 m thick x 3.5 m high) with towers and there was a cut stone ditch, 3 m deep around the site that would have needed to coordinate labour and may point to more complex socio- political organization -The plastered skull found there at the PPNB levels may be evidence for an ancestor cult Jerf el-Ahmar Syria (PPNA): -Residential surface structures surround a large circular semi-subterranean structure that is interpreted as a communal structure and this gives a sense of community planning -A skeleton with its head removed was found in the central chamber and is possible evidence of communal ritual violence The Zagros and Mesopotamia: -Zawi Chemi Shanidar (10,600 ya - PPNB) was the home of hunter-gatherers who may have “managed” sheep and harvested wild plants and Ganj Dareh (12,000 (PPNA) - 10,000 ya (PPNB) had people herding goats and cattle by 10,000 BP as well as cultivating domesticated two-row barley -Ali Kosh (10,000 - 8,000 ya - PPNB) had people herded sheep and goats with a possible pattern of transhumance (upland pastures in summer, move to lowlands in winter) and they grew wheat, barley, and lentils with evidence of irrigation in the form of simple canals Dec, 03, 2012 -The 1960s excavations were the first to use fine screening and flotation to recover small plant and animal remains and it was a very deep excavation -Jarmo (7000 ya - Late Neolithic) had 25 mud brick houses and they were cultivating wheat and barley as well as raising sheep and goats and there is a lot of evidence of trade and clay tokens may indicate record keeping Early Farming in Anatolia: -Hallan Cemi Tepesi had pig domestication ca. 10,000 years ago -Cayonu 8500 - 6500 ya (Late Neolithic) has four periods of construction with 100 to 200 people living in 25-50 houses which were rectangular with stone foundations and they cultivated emmer and einkorn wheat but they were still hunting wild animals and collecting wild plants and they had domestic sheep, goats, and pigs Catal Huyuk – 9000-8000 YA: -Large mound site (12 ha) that was re-occupied 12 times and it has unique architecture with square mud brick houses in “apartment block” form and entrances were through the roof and the population is estimated at 4000 - 6000 YA -Noted for art in “shrine rooms” and there is one group of high status burials -There was control of obsidian trade and 80% of tools on sites within 300 km are made of obsidian from local Ciftlik area of Turkey The Transition to Farming in Europe: -Could be indigenous development or diffusion and agriculture appears in the Near East around 11,000 BP and in Europe around 2500 years later and the timing supports diffusion into Europe Early Agriculture in South East Europe: -SE Europe includes Greece and the area around the northeast part of the Mediterranean and Temperate Europe refers to the area north of the Mediterranean but south of the boreal forest regions of Scandinavia -Argissa-Maghula (8500 BP) had cultivating of wheat and barley and they were herding sheep, cattle and goats -Franchti Cave Greece has occupation spanning the Mesolithic (1100 BP) and Neolithic with farming after 8000 BP and cultivation of plants and animals probably arrived through trade/diffusion and not a migration of people -Nea Nikomedeia Greece dates from 7500 ya and superimposed structures (wattle and daub walls with thatched roofs) indicate long-term occupation and there is one possible ceremonial structure with 5 female figurines and the people raised sheep, goats, cattle, and pigs and grew emmer wheat, einkorn and barley -Karanovo (7500 ya) had small villages of one room wattle and daub houses and they cultivated wheat and barley and they had sheep and goats and the site was located on optimal soils and there was trade connections to the Mediterranean The Bandkeramik Culture (LKB) - 6500-4400 YA: -People migrated north and west along European river valleys and settled on fertile soils and lived in hamlets made up of several farmsteads (40-60 people) and they had substantial houses made of timber and thatch and they grew barley, einkorn, and emmer wheat and raised cattle, sheep, goats and dogs -They initially co-existed with local Mesolithic hunter-gatherers who eventually started f
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