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THE AGRICULTURAL REVOLUTION and The EARLY AGRARIAN ERA. Middle School Workshops Session 3 Craig Benjamin. What is agriculture?. Why is it so important in human history?. How did early farmers live?.
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Middle School Workshops
What is agriculture?
Why is it so important in human history?
How did early farmers live?
6 – W1.2.1Transition from hunter gatherers to sedentary agriculture (domestication of plants and animals).
6 – W1.2.2 Describe importance of the natural environment in the development of agricultural settlements in different locations. E.g.
6 – W1.2.3 Explain the impact of the Agricultural Revolution
WHAT DISTINGUISHES FARMING FROM FORAGING?
Foragers ‘harvest’ a wide variety of different animals and plants that are provided by natural selection
Modern varieties of maize are larger and much more nutritious; but they cannot reproduce without human help
Teosinte, the ancestor of maize, is small, weedy and not too nutritious, but it can survive in the wildDomesticates changed genetically
The domestic sheep is a close relative. It is stupider, more docile and more helpless. But, because of its symbiotic relationship with humans, it is biologically more successful and more numerous.
‘Dall’ sheep or ‘thinhorns’ from N.W. N. AmericaCompare Wild and Domestic sheep
Papua New Guinea
Earliest evidence of farming in S.W. Asia
Farming in E. Asia
Farming in Americas
TIME-CHECK: Timeline: 12 thousand years
Varieties of wheat
Teosinte: small, weedy and not too nutritious
Perhaps that’s one reason why agriculture developed later in the Americas
Sedentism increased in some parts of the world from c. 10,000 years ago
Why? 2 main Reasons:
Artists impression of Natufians
‘harvesting’ wild grains
are suddenly too many
people and not enough land?
room, and you can’t remember
how to hunt?)
productivity of the crops and
animals in your area,by
(‘weeding’ and ‘deforestation’)
‘Swidden Agriculture’: Yanomami farmers, Amazon basin: trees are ‘weeded’ to provide sunlight and nutrition for crops
Is this what an early neolithic farm may have looked like?
This second part of the lecture is about the era of human history in which early agrarian societies were the most important type of community
A Fourth Zone: Oceania
from c. 4,000 years ago
The Three Great ‘World Zones’ of the Agrarian Era
Like this modern Sudanese village on the river Nile
in the early agrarian era?
Skara Brae in the Orkneys, buried for 5,000 years; Excavated by Gordon Childe
Located on a broad plain of savanna grasslands, where the men still practice the hunting of their ancestors, while the women tended the crops
Are these similar to houses in ancient Mesopotamia during the Early Agrarian Era?
Ancient town of Hoi in Vietnam
Jericho today, on the Palestinian ‘West Bank’. It was probably first settled by Natufian ‘affluent foragers’, 10,000 years ago. It is blessed with extremely reliable well in a region of desert.
Catal Huyuk prospered through trading in obsidian, the ancient equivalent of steelCatal Huyuk, almost 9,000 years ago
Catal Huyuk, in modern Turkey, had 5-6,000 inhabitants; houses were entered from the roofs
owned as much wealth as men
fortifications suggest that
warfare was very limited
This was NOT the position of
women in the early ag. era!
Farming required teamwork: Vietnamese farmersMen and women did different jobs: does that mean they were unequal?
May have declined in early agrarian villages