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Chapter 9

Chapter 9

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Michael Chazan

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Chapter 9 A Feast of DiversityIn Africa pastoral societies developed without pastoral domesticationNew Guinea plant domest focused on transplanting suckerscuttingsshoots rather than seedsIn the Andes there was a complex interplay between the domestication of plants and animals by mobile societies living in the highlands on one hand and on the other by village societies living on the coast and depending heavily on marine resources When agriculture was adopted on the coast the main focus was on a nonfood crop cottonThe early agricultural societies of China seem to offer the strongest support available for Childes concept of the transition to agriculture as a rapid and revolutionary event However this picture might be the result of limitations of the archaeological record rather than a reflection of the actual historical process 91 AfricaThree major regions where plants were indigenously domesticated in Africa y In Ethiopia and Eritrea in northeast Africa a wide range of plants was domesticated including grains such as tef and finger millet which are essential to the local diet A local domesticate that has had a more global impact is coffee y In central Africa two critical cerealspearl millet and sorghumwere domesticated Most ststlikely pearl millet was 1 domesticated in the Sahara sorghums 1 domestication unknown y In west Africa Africa rice was domesticatedIncorporated domesticated plants wheat barley and animals sheep goats from Middle EastBetween 14000 and 4500 years ago there was more rainfall in the area that is now the Sahara Desertallowed for extensive human occupation Villages of HunterGatherersSmall villages of huntergatherers across northern Africa during increased rainfall period in Saharasites resemble Natufian societies of the Middle East because of size nature of structures exploitation of wide range of resources use of grinding stones however pottery is commonly found on African sitesin Middle East pottery only developed during Late NeolithicNabta Playain the Egyptian Western desert was the location of a series of early agricultural and preagricultural sites located along the edge of a lakeduring time of occupation small lake surrounded by grasslands before storage pits and pottery found many plant remains Uan Afudain Libya cave site that has produced the wellpreserved remains of preagricultural occupation of the Saharaalthough these people had not domesticated sheep they were practicing a form of animal management by capturing and keeping animals confined in cavesPastoralistsDomesticated animals introduced before plants in much of North Africaanimals were incorporated into mobile huntingandgathering societies called pastoral societiesmobile societies with an economy based on herds of domesticated animals
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