ANTHR101 Chapter Notes - Chapter 8: Breadfruit, Harappa
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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,
BROAD-SPECTRUM 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 PALEO-INDIAN 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 15-30
people to microbands of 2-5 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 BROAD-SPECTRUM 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 broad-spectrum collecting
- BROAD-SPECTRUM COLLECTING doesn't mean people were eating better.
decline in stature indivates a poorer diet. shell-fish 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 broad-spectrum collecting linked to decrease in stature, suggesting it is a