3 Transition from systematic harvesting of wild plants to cultivation Transition from systematic harvesting of wild plants to cultivation. Chapter 5 in text. See also pdf readingsEvidence from multiple sources: palynology, zooarchaeology, environmental archaeology, paleobotany, farming technology, food storage practices, stable isotope analysis…
5 Hypotheses to Explain Agriculture Big question: after 2 million years of human development, why the change in dietary habits? When and exactly where agriculture took root is still being worked out, but it appears first archaeologically in the Anatolian plateau.
7 Key questions for these hypotheses Did population increases occur before or after agriculture?What brought about population increases?What conditions had to exist?Which plants were domesticated first?How can we test these conjectures?When did this occur?
9 Oasis HypothesisDomestication begins as a symbiotic relationship between humans, plants, and animals at oases.Linked to fertile river valley hypothesisV. Gordon Childe the major proponent of the hypothesis.
10 Natural habitat Hypothesis Earliest domesticated plants found in the areas of wild ancestors. Humans inhabit zones rich in certain easily harvested plants and learn to cultivate from observation.Robert Braidwood was a strong advocate for this concept. Also tied to the fertile river valley hypothesis.
11 Edge HypothesisPressure to turn to agriculture were greatest at the edges or margins of a resource area.Lewis Binford a proponent of this variant of population theory.
12 Population Pressure Hypothesis Increased populations forced people to turn to agriculture.Large populations required greater food surplus and also provided labor. Labor needed to be managed leading to institutional control among priests or chiefs..
13 Irrigation management Agricultural development could not lead to civilization without water management strategiesRobert Mc Adams
14 Fertile CrescentScene of earliest old world farming also the region of earliest urban centers and States.Natufian culture the first farmers?Ofer bar-Josef
21 Important early sites of agriculture Natufian region (Bar-Josef)Jarmo (Robert Braidwood)Jericho (Kathleen Kenyon)MehrgarhBan-po-ts’unDame Kathleen Kenyon at Jericho
22 ChronologyCurrent estimates are that intermittent and seasonal harvesting of wild foods begins 11,000 years ago.Actual cultivation by settled communities can be traced to 9000 years ago.Jarmo continues to be considered the site of earliest confirmed agriculture, but new sites are being investigated which may change this view.
23 Important Cultigens from the archaeological record Einkron wheatEmmer wheatBarleyLentilsGrapesFigsIn the far East: riceIn Americas: potatoes, manioc, yamsPlastered ancestor skull from Jericho.
26 Technologies of agriculture Sickles made from antler and obsidian microlithsSickle gloss evidence (micro wear analysis)Grinding stones (querns, mortars, pestles)Storage jarsStorage pitsGranaries in architecture.
32 Positive Side effects Agriculture leads to sedentary populations. Surplus can provide in lean times.Surpluses can be traded for other commodities.Surpluses mean some fraction of the population does not have to engage in food production.This gives rise to different roles within society and produces social stratification.
34 Negative Side Effects Dependencies on crop and climate stability Must be defended.Larger populations require more work to feed.Large sedentary populations create lots of waste, sewage, pollution…
35 Control over irrigation of water, water distribution, or surplus food production are closely linked to rise of States level societies. But did one precede the other or was it a tandem process?Did struggle over water create system of power? Who was in charge? Chiefs? Priests?
36 Rise to CivilizationEvidence suggests that in the ancient Near East, control over irrigation and water resources was fundamental to the rise of powerful city-states.Tower structure at Jericho 7000 years ago.
37 Elsewhere, agriculture supported complex chiefdoms. Agricultural surplus allows war, writing, schools, the invention of history, new technologies…but also links civilizations directly to environmental dependency, degradation, and potential demise.
38 State Level Organization States can be defined as independent kingdoms with specific self-sustaining institutions and centralized authority.
39 StatesStates have rank divisions, institutionalized government and hierarchical power structures, (institutional monopoly of military) urban living, division of labor with craft specialization, standardized laws, control over resources, social stratification, monumental architecture, and frequently a powerful stratified religious authority.
40 Coming next Monday… Catal Hoyuk in Turkey Civilizations in Mesopotamia.First cities: Ubaid, Uruk, Lagash, Babylon, the Sumerian civilization.
41 Tablet with recipe for beer from about 600BC Evidence exists for brewing as far back as 3500BC.Sumerian priest drinking beer.