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Agriculture Development… Lecture 2 Domestication of Animals Development of Irrigation Development of Agri-cultures AGST 3000 Agriculture, Society, and the Natural World Domestication of Animals I. Herd animals (cattle, sheep, goats) domesticated by seed planters

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Agriculture Development…Lecture 2Domestication of Animals Development of IrrigationDevelopment of Agri-culturesAGST 3000Agriculture, Society, and the Natural World

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Domestication of Animals

I. Herd animals (cattle, sheep, goats) domesticated by seed planters

II. Dooryard animals (dogs, pigs, geese, chickens, ducks) domesticated by vegetable planters.

III. Man may not have begun to keep animals for practical reasons – inborn tendency for keeping pets.

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Domestication of Animals continued…

IV. Young animals tend to become attached to people due to imprinting – tendency to follow first living thing seen or heard.

V. A state of mutual indifference between man and wild animals may have been requirement of domestication.

VI. Totemism may also have encouraged domestication.

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Domestication of Animals continued…

VII. Cattle are most important livestock accounting for:

A. 50% of the world’s meat

B. 95% of the world’s milk

C. 80% of the world’s hides

D. important draft animals (oxen)

E. originated in Central Asia, spread to Europe, China, and Africa around

9,000 BC

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Middle East






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Domestication of Animals continued…

VIII. Man had to develop methods to harness the full power of draft animals

A. i.e., horse pulled 4 times more than man, increased to 15 times with a harness

IX. Western Hemisphere development delayed due to lack of herd animals

A. i.e., failure to invent wheel, plow, arch, rotational devised water wheels,


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Development of Irrigation

I. Irrigation developed by civilizations in arid/semiarid regions practicing seed culture.

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Irrigation continued…

II. Irrigation was vital to the growth of civilization in both hemispheres.

A. Development of engineering skills spurred by technical aspects of diverting river water, draining marshes, building levies and dikes and canals.

B. Mathematics and astronomy developed as a basis for measuring land, time, and seasons.

C. Modern calendars developed in Egypt around 6,000 years ago (Egypt remains the longest lasting irrigation based society.)

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Irrigation continued…

III. Irrigation was successful over time where annual flooding leached excessive salts and replenished soils through siltation.

IV. Average life-span of irrigated societies was 40 to 60 generations (1,000 – 1,500 years)

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Social Affects… Sedentary* Agri-culture

  • Accumulation of storable food-stuffs and other wealth

  • Food surpluses and other capital represented the prerequisite conditions for further cultural advance--for civilization.

  • What can be stored can also be stolen, thus

    • Need for Security…Walls around the city

  • Creation of wealth paradoxically meant the creation of "security problems"

    *Living in one place

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  • As wealth increased in societies, insecurity and social unrest increased with it

  • Thus the need for government

  • This was a new mode of social organization--a division between those who direct and manage and those who are directed.

  • As specializations emerged in the economy, inequalities of wealth and status emerged with them.

    • Hierarchies of wealth, status and power began to characterize the new societies.

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Man lost his innocence with the agricultural revolution.


I. Because man does not have to accept the environment.

II. Man can adapt the environment to his purposes and needs.

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Journal2History of Agriculture Discussion…Evolution of Domesticated Plants and Animals

1. What were the factors in the development of plant culture (domestication) where they occurred throughout the world?

2. What were the factors in the development of animal culture (domestication)?

3. What were the natural factors that made it possible to domesticate the types of animals involved?

4. What probably was the first example of a man made irrigation system and what were the factors that made it work?

5. As we look at ancient societies, what factors required the development of villages, protective barriers, government, etc.?

6. What do you think have been some of the most significant developments of modern (last 50 years) agriculture and why?

7. Do you feel that today’s agriculture is better today than in the past when you consider the impacts on our society and environment? Why?