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Chapter 14

ANTA01H3 Chapter Notes - Chapter 14: Transitional Fossil, Mehrgarh, Natufian Culture

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Genevieve Dewar

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Chapter 14 - Food Production
Neolithic revolution: Childe’s term for the far-reaching consequences of food production
Neolithic: New Stone Age; period of farmers
Craft Specialization: an economic system in which some individuals do not engage in food getting, but devote their labour to the
production of other goods + services
diffusion: idea that widely distributed cultural traits originated in a single center + were spread from one group to another via
symbiosis: mutually advantageous association of two different organizations; aka mutualism
oases: permanent springs/water holes in an arid region
horticulture: farming method in which only hand tools are used; typical of most early Neolithic societies
rachis: the short stem by which an individual seed attaches to the main stalk of a plant as it develops
cultigen: a plant that is wholly dependent on humans; a domesticate
archaeobotanical: referring to the analysis + interpretation of the remains of ancient plants recovered from the archaeological record
*plant microfossils such as pollen, phytoliths + starch grains often survive where macrofossils can’t - such as on cutting edges of ancient
stone tools, inside pottery containers + other remains
Type Definition Characteristic
Pollen Microscopic grains containing the male
gametes of seed-producing plants;
classified to genus; if not species
-abundant + taxonomically distinctive
-outer shell of grain is tough
-preserves poorly in many kinds of open sites
Phytoliths Microscopic silica structures formed in the
cells of many plants
-taxonomically distinctive
-vary according to where they form in the plant
-don’t suffer from the same preservation biases that macrofossils do
Starch grains subcellular structures that form in all plant
parts + classifiable by family/genus;
particularly abundant in seeds + tubers
-particularly abundant + taxonomically classified
-useful complement to phytoliths as a data source + are a major tool in
arcaheological investigations of root crops
cultivars: wild plants fostered by human efforts to make them more productive
loess: fine-grained soil composed of glacially pulverized rock, deposited by the wind
alluvial: deposited by streams, usually during flood stages
teosinte: a native grass of southern Mexico, believed to be ancestral to maize
zoonoses: diseases that can be transmitter to humans from other vertebrates
The Most Significant Archaeological Sites Discussed in this Chapter
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