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AGST 3000 Lecture 3 Agriculture Development… Domestication of Animals Development of Irrigation Development of Agri-cultures Define Domestication? To tame, to train to live with and to be of use to mankind. Genetic selection. What is the importance of domestic animals to mankind today?

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AGST 3000Lecture 3Agriculture Development…Domestication of Animals Development of IrrigationDevelopment of Agri-cultures

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Define Domestication?

  • To tame, to train to live with and to be of use to mankind. Genetic selection.

  • What is the importance of domestic animals to mankind today?

  • What types of animals would be easiest to domesticate? WHY?

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Domestication of Animals

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

A. Wheat & barley indigenous to the same region

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.

A. Ancient ancestors of cattle & sheep looked very little like today’s domestic versions.

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Domestication of Animals continued…

IV. Imprinting – the tendency of young animals to follow the first living thing it sees and hears. Perhaps this tendency encouraged domestication.

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

VI. Totemism may also have encouraged domestication.

Examples of animals used as totems?

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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

  • Irrigation must be included among the most vital of accomplishments in both the Old and New worlds.

  • Many ancient civilizations developed in arid or semiarid regions.

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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.

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

    A. Egyptian cultures were the exception.

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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.

    • Division of labor

  • 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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Medieval Farming in England

  • What was a manor?

  • What was a serf? What was life like for serfs?

  • Describe cultural (cropping) methods in medieval times.

  • What is meant by the “tragedy of the commons”?

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The Industrial Revolution

  • When did the Industrial Revolution occur in the USA?

  • How did the Industrial Revolution affect agriculture?

  • What advances in agriculture came about because of the Industrial Revolution?

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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.