1. What accounts for the emergence of agriculture after countless millennia of human life without it?
The end of the last Ice Age = global warming – 11,000 years ago made agriculture possible – warmer, wetter, and more stable climatic conditions = more wild plants, especially cereal grasses climate change+ human hunting, pushed various species of large mammals into extinction=the need for new food sources. Humans learned to make use of a large number of plants and animals. developed techniques + technologies – encouraged the growth of favored plants and harvest wild plants and animals more easily. More people= Need for more FOOD
3. In what ways did agriculture spread? Where and why was it sometimes resisted?. Agriculture spread in two ways: 1.through diffusion Diffusion refers to the gradual spread of the techniques of agriculture, and perhaps of the plants and animals themselves, but without extensive movement of people 2. through colonization Colonization refers to the migration of agricultural peoples as growing populations and pressures to expand pushed them outward. Often this meant the conquest, absorption, or displacement of earlier gatherers and hunters. Resistence occurred in areas not suitable for farming.
4. What was revolutionary about the Agricultural Revolution? support much larger populations dominance of the human species over other forms of life on the planet technological innovation –techniques for making pottery –weaving textiles – metallurgy impact of humans on their environments
5. What different kinds of societies emerged out of the Agricultural Revolution Pastoral societies –domesticated animals –common in regions where farming was difficult or impossible arctic tundra, some grasslands, and deserts. – mobile moving seasonally- following the changing patterns of vegetation- in order to feed their animals. Village-based agricultural societies –settled farmers –retained much of the equality and freedom of gathering and hunting communities – No kings, chiefs, bureaucrats, or aristocracies. – usually organized in terms of kinship groups or lineages large numbers of people could make and enforce rules, maintain order, and settle disputes. Chiefdoms –agricultural communities were ruled by figures who inherited positions of power and privilege. – These chiefs ruled through their generosity or gift giving, their ritual status, or their personal charisma. –rarely could they use force to compel obedience
6. How did chiefdoms differ from stateless agricultural village societies? Chiefdoms Chiefdoms possessed more well-defined and pronounced social inequalities, some of which were inherited. Unlike members of agricultural village societies, commoners in chiefdoms provided tribute to their chief in the form of food, manufactured goods, and raw materials. Agricultural Village Societies organized themselves in terms of kinship groups or lineages. The lineage system provided the framework within which large numbers of people could make and enforce rules, maintain order, and settle disputes. developed modest social and economic inequalities, but they were not as well defined as those of chiefdoms and were not hereditary
Big Picture Questions
7. The Agricultural Revolution marked a decisive turning point in human history. What evidence might you offer to support this claim, and how might you argue against it?
In Support: support much larger populations dominance of the human species over other forms of life on the planet an explosion of technological innovation, including techniques for making pottery and weaving textiles and metallurgy the growing impact of humans on their environments
In Opposition: Agricultural Revolution was a long-term process rather than a turning point, and that even today it is not practiced universally by all humankind.
Also, Agricultural Revolution was part of a longer process of more intense human exploitation of the earth that began long before the first permanent agricultural settlements took shape.
8. How did early agricultural societies differ from those of the Paleolithic era? How does the example of settled gathering and hunting peoples such as the Chumash complicate this comparison?
Agricultural societies experienced greater social inequality –were larger and more densely settled – were less mobile –developed more advanced technologies Everyday life and health was not necessarily better in agricultural societies than in Paleolithic societies. Farming involved more and harder work than gathering and hunting. Agricultural diets were often nutritionally poorer than those of Paleolithic societies, and more vulnerable to famine should their crops fail.
The Chumash complicate the comparison – their sedentary lifestyle allowed them to develop more advanced technologies. –they lived in a region in which fishing could support a large population. acquisition of goods led to greater social inequality, so that, in terms of social structure, Chumash society with its chiefs resembled more closely an agricultural chiefdom than a typical gathering and hunting society.
10. Was the Agricultural Revolution inevitable? Why did it occur so late in the story of humankind?
Only after more favorable climatic conditions emerged following the last Ice Age did the Agricultural Revolution begin. While it is impossible to discount the possibility that an agricultural revolution would have happened even without improved weather conditions, the revolution as it occurred required favorable climatic conditions and therefore cannot be seen as inevitable. Aside from climatic conditions, the Agricultural Revolution was part of a longer process of more intense human exploitation of the earth that began long before the first permanent agricultural settlements took shape. The development of techniques and technologies during this process proved important for the transition to settled agriculture, and the need to develop these new techniques and technologies also explains in part why the Agricultural Revolution occurred so late in human history.
11. “The Agricultural Revolution provides evidence for ‘progress’ in human affairs.” How would you evaluate this statement?
“progress” include –the growth of population –the beginning of the dominance of the human species over other forms of life on the planet –and an explosion of technological innovation, including techniques for making pottery and weaving textiles and metallurgy However, a number of developments associated with the Agricultural Revolution that may not be considered “progress,” including: –growing social inequality –the emergence of the payment of tribute –a general decline in nutrition –and the emergence of new and deadly diseases