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Transition to Agriculture. Subsistence Patterns - Characteristics Food Foraging: hunting, fishing, & gathering wild plant foods. Horticulture: cultivation.

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Presentation on theme: "Transition to Agriculture. Subsistence Patterns - Characteristics Food Foraging: hunting, fishing, & gathering wild plant foods. Horticulture: cultivation."— Presentation transcript:

1 Transition to Agriculture

2 Subsistence Patterns - Characteristics Food Foraging: hunting, fishing, & gathering wild plant foods. Horticulture: cultivation of crops carried out with simple hand tools. Pastoralism: Breeding & managing large herds of domesticated grazing animals (goats, sheep, cattle, llamas, etc.) Agriculture: cultivation of plants in prepared soils and maintained for crop production. The invention of the steam engine 200 years ago brought about the industrial revolution that increased production, replaced labor, and facilitated distribution. Mobility; Group Size; Social Relations; Labor, etc.

3 Modes of Subsistence - Foragers Move about a great deal. Small size of local groups (usually >100). Carrying Capacity: number of people that the available resources can support (ecological factor). Density of social relations = low: number & intensity of interactions among members; higher means more opportunities for conflict (social factor). Egalitarian, populations have few possessions and share what they have. LoiE_o Persistence Hunt of the San’s people of the Kalahari Desert of Africa.

4 Domestication of the Dog The modern dog evolved from the gray wolf. 1 st animal to be domesticated. Oldest fossil dog from 14,000 ya – although DNA suggest much older 15k – 100k. Because wolves operate in packs, humans easily took the place of the "highest ranking wolf." So the animals quickly learned obedience. Domestication caused the development of floppy ears, short snouts, spotted coats, highly-set tails and even a tendency to bark.

5 Modes of Subsistence The Neolithic – Food Producing Societies The New Stone Age; prehistoric period beginning about 10,000 years ago in which peoples possessed stone-based technologies and depended on domesticated plants and/or animals. The first agricultural revolution – the transition from hunting & gathering communities & bands. 7-8 separate locales worldwide with the earliest in the Middle East around 10,000 ya. The Neolithic Transition - Video

6 The Natufians & Pre-Neolithic Culture  The Natufian culture was a pre- neolithic culture that existed in the Eastern Middle East between 12,500 – 10,000 yrs ago.  The were semi-sedentary, before the introduction of full-scale agriculture.  The Natufian communities are possibly the ancestors of the builders of the first Neolithic settlements of the region.  There is no evidence for the deliberate cultivation of cereals, but people at the time certainly made use of wild cereals.

7 The First Farmers Domestication of plants and animals for food occurred, independently, in Old World and the Americas around 10,000 years ago

8 Domesticates in the Archaeological Record

9 Animal Domestication - Regional Southwest Asia: This area probably included some of the first domesticated dogs, sheep, goats and pigs. Central Asia: People raised chicken and used Bactrian camels for carrying loads in Central Asia. Arabia: As the name implies, the Arabian camel (a one-humped camel, also known as a dromedary) originated here. China: China was home to early domestication of the water buffalo, pigs and dogs. Ukraine: People in the area that is now Ukraine domesticated the wild tarpan horses that historians believe are the ancestors of modern horses. Egypt: The donkey came in handy here, as it can work hard without much water and vegetation. South America: The domesticated llama and alpaca came from this continent. Historians believe South Americans saved these species from the brink of extinction with domestication.

10 Horticulture Cultivation of crops carried out with simple hand tools such as digging sticks or hoes. slash-and-burn cultivation – Also known as swidden farming. –An extensive form of horticulture in which the natural vegetation is cut, the slash is subsequently burned, and crops are then planted among the ashes. –Also used to raise cattle Reburning an old, overgrown slash-and-burn plot in the Amazon forest in Venezuela in preparation for new planting. Although it looks destructive, if properly carried out, slash-and- burn cultivation is an ecologically sound way of growing crops in the tropics.

11 Pastoralism Subsistence that relies on raising herds of domesticated animals, such as cattle, sheep, and goats. Pastoralists are usually nomadic. In the Zagros Mountains region of Iran, pastoral nomads follow seasonal pastures, migrating with their flocks over rugged terrain that includes perilously steep snowy passes and fast ice-cold rivers.

12 Human Adaptations in Prehistory Food foraging is a universal type of human adaptation and typically involves geographic mobility including migration. Adaptations involving domestication of plants and animals, began to develop in some parts of the world about 10,000 years ago. Horticulture led to more permanent settlements while pastoralism required mobility to seek out pasture and water. Cities began to develop as early as 5,000 years ago in some world regions.!v=YdYH8m6HOCo&feature=related!v=pRsrhhjDSQM&feature=related!v=5Ft5SiS5Cz0&feature=related!v=h0dOOARz_Mk&feature=related

13 Adaptation in Cultural Evolution Human groups adapt to their environments by means of their cultures. Cultural Evolution is the process of cultures changing over time (not to be confused with progress). Not all changes turn out to be positive, nor do they improve conditions for every member of a society. Complex, urban societies are not more “highly evolved” than those of food foragers.


15 Social Evolution YearHuman Population 3000 B.C.14 million 2000 B.C.27 million 1000 B.C.50 million 500 B.C.100 million 20117 billion Period (ya)Society type Number of individuals 100,000-10,000Bands10s-100s 10,000-5000tribes100s-1,000s 5,000-3,000Chiefdoms1,000s-10,000s 3,000-1,000States10,000s-100,000s 1,000-PresentEmpires 100,000- 1,000,000s


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