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Chapter 8

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ANTH 1010H
Jocelyn Williams

Anthro Chapter 8: Food Systems Africa - There are three major regions where plants were indigenously domesticated in Africa: 1. Ethiopia and Eritrea in northeast Africa a. Grains (like tef, finger millet) and coffee 2. Central Africa a. 2 critical cereals – pearl millet and sorghum 3. West Africa a. African rice - African agricultural systems incorporated domesticated plants introduced from the Middle East, including wheat, barley, and lentils. Among the domesticated animals introduced from the Middle East were sheep and goats - There is widespread evidence of small villages of hunter-gatherers across northern Africa during the period of increased rainfall in the Sahara - Between 14,000 and 4,500 years ago, there was more rainfall in the area that is now the Sahara Desert - The Nabta Playa in the Egyptian Western desert was the location of a series of early agricultural and pre- agricultural sites located along the edge of a lake - Uan Afuda, Libya, is a cave site that has produced the well-preserved remains of pre-agricultural occupation o Occupied between 9 and 8,000 years ago o People living there were exploiting a wide range of resources o Keeping wild sheep in a pen at the back of the cave practicing a form of animal management - In much of north Africa, domesticated animals were introduced before domesticated plants - Pastoral societies are mobile societies with an economy based on herds of domesticated animals - The earliest evidence of domesticated animals in the central Sahara, at the site of Uan Muhuggiag, was dated to 8,500 years ago - The development of village farming communities in Africa is poorly understood - Pottery was introduced at the beginning of the sequence in Africa New Guinea - Centrality of sweet potatoes - The exchange of pigs is an essential element of political power. Sweet potaotes are an important part of the diet of pigs; therefore, accumulating sweet potatoes is an essential element in gaining political power th o Both were introduced fairly recently (16 century) - Indigenously domesticated crops include yams, bananas, taro, and possibly sugarcane - The earliest evidence of human occupation of New Guinea is found at coastal sites on the Huon peninsula, dated to 40,000 years ago. The earliest occupation of the highlands is found at the sites of Kosipe and Yuku, which have been dated to approximately 30,000 years ago - Most of the archeological sites in the highlands are caves - No pottery has been found that dates to earlier than 800 years ago - The Kuk Swamp site in highland New Guinea has produced early evidence of agriculture o The major features are drainage canals, pits, and earth mounds o Around 3,000 years ago, the maintenance of agricultural fields appears to have come to an end - Phytoliths are mineral structures that build up on plant tissue - The presence of large quantities of banana phytoliths in the swamp deposits 6,500 years ago is evidence that people were planting banana trees - The transition to agriculture was quite gradual and that only plants were involved. New guinea is unique in that no cereal crops were domesticated The Andes - The Andean highlands can be divided into 4 zones based on altitude 1. Quechua zone – between 2,300 and 3,500 meters above sea level; wher
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