CHAPTER 8: FOOD PRODUCTION AND THE RISE OF STATES
beginning 14,000 YEARS AGO, people in some regious began to depend less on
big game hunting and more on relatively stationary food resources like fish, shell
fish, small game, and wild plants.
lead to increasingly settled life
this period is called EPIPALEOLITHIC in the middle east and MESOLITHIC
8000 BCE: NEOLITHIC REVOLUTION, the cultivation and domestication of
plants and animals in the middle east.
most of the world's major food plants and animals were domesticated well before
also developed by that time were techniques of plowing, fertilizing, fallowing,
BROADSPECTRUM COLLECTING: widely expanding diet to include many
sources of plants and animals. as opposed to just large mammals like mammoths
and other mega fauna.
THE MIDDLE EAST:
Increased utilization of stationary food sources nearing end of Upper Paleolithic
this partly explains why some began to lead more sedentary lives
huge patches of wild grains grow naturally in anatolia today just as they had then.
one family of four could harvest more than enough food to feed them an entire
year. the sheer weight of this along with the tools (flint sickles, grinding
aparatuses) most likely necessetated a sedentary shift. THE NATUFIANS OF THE MIDDLE EAST
11kya, NATUFIANS inhabited cave and rock shelters on the slopes of Mount
had villages consisting of about fifty circular PIT HOUSES. paved walks,
permanent hearths, and village cemeteries
their tools suggest they harvested grain intensively.
earliest peoples we know stored grains
increasing social complexity, sites five time larger than predecessors, burials
suggest hierarchy forming
communities occupied most all of the year, if not year round
diet seems to have suffered, dental patterns suggest nutritional deficiency and
their stature declined over time.
as glaciers receded at the end of the PALEOINDIAN period, about 10,000 years
ago, the megafauna went extinct and the archaic peoples began to hunt smaller
mammals like bison, deer, antelope and such. Woodlands and grasslands expanded
providing new range of plants.
Axes, adzes, mortars and pestles all appear at this time.
THE ARCHAIC PEOPLES OF HIGHLAND MESOAMERICA
altitude became important factor
differences in vegetation in altitude meant wide swath of species in relatively
archaic mesoamericans moved back and forth between macro bands of 1530
people to microbands of 25 people. macroband camps located near seasonaly abundant resources (acorns, mesquite
microbands retreat into caves or rock shelters, moving either upslope or
downslope to exploit different environments
unlike natufians, no evidence of social differences among archaic mesoamericans
CHANGE TO BROADSPECTRUM COLLECTING OCCURED IN
sites found with species of plants and animals collected from several different
ecosystems (water, forest, highland, lowland, prairie)
WHY DID BROAD SPECTRUM COLLECTING DEVELOP?
It is apparent that the preagricultural switch to broad spectrum collecting was
fairly common throughout the world.
● warming climate killing off megafauna
● warming climate introducing new sources of food
● melting glaciers providing more water, thus more fish and shellfish
● perhaps we overkilled some of the megafauna
● population growth may have led to shift to broadspectrum collecting
BROADSPECTRUM COLLECTING doesn't mean people were eating better.
decline in stature indivates a poorer diet. shellfish are a labour intensive way to
get some protein, for example.
either we or the environment or both killed off a lot of larger animals, forcing us
to look elsewhere for food.
rise of broadspectrum collecting linked to decrease in stature, suggesting it is a poor diet
BROAD SPECTRUM COLLECTING AND SEDENTARISM
does BSC explain sedentarism increasing? yes and no
highland mesoamericans do NOT become more sedentary
sedentarism is directly linked to nearness or the high reliability and yield of the
broadspectrum resources rather than the broad spectrum itself.
POPULATION GROWTH AND SEDENTARISM
settling down of a nomadic group reduces the typical spacing between births.
nomadic people have problem of carrying children
presence of baby foods other than mother's milk may be responsible for decreased
birth spacing in sedentary agricultural groups.
longer a mother nurses her baby without supplementary foods for the baby, the
longer it is likely to be before she starts ovulating again. thus, presence of
supplementary soft cereals and milk from domesticated animals allows woman to
ween earlier and begin ovulating, leading to greater population.
some research suggests a critical amount of fat must be in the body before a
woman can ovulate. sedentary women who don't have to walk many miles may be
THE DOMESTICATION OF PLANTS AND ANIMALS
NEOLITHIC means "OF THE NEW STONE AGE" but the Neolithic is now
characterized as the time when domesticated plants and animals arise.
people begin to produce food rather than just collect it
when people PLANT FOOD, and keep and BREED ANIMALS domesticatin only refers to plants and animals that are artifically MODIFIED
wild grains have a fragile RACHIS, the seed bearing part of the stem.
domesticated grains have a tough RACHIS which does shatter easily
wild grains have a tough shell protecting the seed, domesticated grain has a brittle
shell that can be easily separated
wild goats have differently shaped horns than domesticated goats
DOMESTICATION IN THE MIDDLE EAST
ALI KOSH is a stratified site in SOUTHWEST IRAN. Remains of a community
from 7500 BC.
started out on wild plants and animals.
over next 2000 years until about 5500BC, agriculture and herding became
after 5500BC, two important innovations appear
2. USE OF DOMESTICATED CATTLE
these stimulate a minor population explosion.
of thousands of tools found, 1% were obsidian (found in eastern turkey) so these
people must have had contact with others.
size of rooms in homes started to increase and other advances in mortar/mud
village had only 100 people but was involved in extensive trading network.
after 5500bc the area shows signs of much larger pop: IRRIGATION and
PLOWS DRAWN BY DOMESTICATED CATTLE.
by 4500, pop tripled culminated in the rise of urban civilizations in middle east
DOMESTICATION IN MESOAMERICA
VERY DIFFERENT: seminomadic Archaic hunting and gathering lifestly
persisted long after people first domesticated plants.
people sewed then left for annual hunt and came back later to harvest.
DOMESTICATION IN EAST ASIA
late 6th millennium BC, sites where foxtail millet was cultivated are found in
people still depended on hunting and fishing despite domesticated pigs and dogs
same time, sites in SOUTH china have cultivated rice, bottle gourds, water
chestnuts, and jujube. water buffalo, pigs, and dogs also domesticated
mainland SE Asiamay have been place of domestication as early as middle east
new guinea: banabas and taro
other major plants: yams, breadfruit, coconuts
DOMESTICATION IN AFRICA
long broad belt of woodland/savannah south of sahara and north of equator
sorghum, millet, yams
farmin became widespread after 6000bc
WHY DID FOOD PRODUCTION DEVELOP? ● climate change? climate 1312kya became more seasonal. summers hotter
and dryer, winters colder, favouring emergence of annual species of wild
● population increase brought displaced people to try and replicate abundance
of areas they were displaced from?
● population pressure on a global scale? people populated the whole world by
10kya so there were no new unexploited areas for people to go to.
● sedentary foraging (as with the Natufians) may have allowed for such a
population increase that they were forced to begin cultivating plants to feed
everyone. some natufians returned to nomadic foraging in response too. both
reactions, nomadism and cultivation
● planting crops may have only been for getting through the dry seasons when
meat is lean and hunter/gatherers actually starve because of it
● mesoamericans don't fit any of these hypotheses though and seem only to
have domesticated food for the sake of having more of the things useful to
them (like bottle gourds). maize didn't become a staple for 2500 years after it
CONSEQUENCES OF THE RISE OF FOOD PRODUCTION
we can't be sure why domestication began but we are sure that the shift to
INTENSIVE agriculture was in response to population rise
fertility is higher even today in societies where children contribute more to
economy, as they would in sedentary farming communities.
TWO PARADOXICAL TRENDS:
1. Rise of food production may lead to increased fertility
2. but it also leads to decline in health at least stometimes with the transition to
decrease in health may be because of reliance on only a few staples leaves out some nutrients and makes people more vulnerable to crop failure on account of
it may also be that increased food production has already begin to lead to
socioeconomic classes of people creating unequal access, btween and within
communiities, to food and other resources
spindle and loom appear and woven textiles are made possible
evidence of long distance trade in neolithic
THE RISE OF CITIES AND STATES
from when agriculture first arose to 6000BC, people in middle east remmained
lving in fairly small villag