1-5 Near-East-agriculture-compressed

1-5 Near-East-agriculture-compressed - SOUTHWEST ASIA: THE...

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SOUTHWEST ASIA: THE “NEAR EAST” The “Cradle of Civilization”
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Driscoll C A et al. PNAS 2009;106:9971-9978 (years before present, BP)
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Levant (Jericho) Zagros Mountains (Jarmo) Anatolia
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V. Gordon Childe’s Neolithic Revolution: The Oasis Theory (1928, 1936) As Pleistocene glaciers melted, world’s climate became hotter and drier In desert areas, the few well watered areas became oases People, animals, and plants became more densely concentrated near oases and desert streams Forced association led to greater intimacy, even symbiotic relationships, between humans and plants/animals, and then domestication (domestic or “tame”) Jericho, Isreal
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Kathleen Kenyon excavated at Jericho (1952-58) to test Childe’s Oasis Theory. She discovered pre-Neolithic occupations (Natufian hunter-gatherers) and two early Aceramic Neolithic occupations (Pre-Pottery Neolithic A, or PPNA, and PPNB).
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Aceramic Neolithic tower Ancient Jericho (Tell es-Sultan) On top of small Natufian occupation, the long-lived Neolithic settlement rivaled the later Bronze-Age settlement in size (2.5 ha) and had a wall and ditch, like the later occupations. Early Neolithic occupations lacked ceramics, hence PPNA, PPNB.
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Braidwood’s Hilly Flanks Theory Hilly flanks of Zagros Mountains, Iraq: rich natural habitat for wild grasses (natural habitat zone hypothesis; Peake-Fleur, 1927) Argued that there was little evidence of dramatic post- Pleistocene desiccation (now known to be an important factor in Pleistocene-Holocene transition in the Younger Dryas cooling period) Agriculture was logical outcome of cultural experimentation and elaboration as hunters-gatherers settled-in in those areas where wild grasses were present Like Childe’s model, assumes agriculture is logical outcome of humanity seeking to improve its condition
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Robert Braidwood excavated at Jarmo, Iraq (1948-1955) to test the “hilly flanks hypothesis” Jarmo: A Village of Early Farmers Robert Braidwood in Antiquity Volume 24:189 (1950)
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Farming Towns Food production and more sedentary ways of life resulted in growth in settlement size and provided foundation for numerous cultural innovations outside of subsistence Domestication and settled village life were traditionally seen as happening more or less simultaneously, although more recent research shows a more complicated story
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Thomas Malthus An essay on the principle of population as it affects the future improvement of society (1798) Population naturally grows until something dramatic occurs Population growth kept in check through mortality (misery, war, famine, epidemics) Neo-Malthusian premise: population growth is dependent variable, determined by preceding changes in subsistence potential as population reaches critical threshold, or “carrying capacity,” population growth is checked (held in place) by some cultural or natural factor (contraception, infanticide, disease, famine)
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Neo-Malthusian View: Revolutionary Change Population growth dependent on technology Food Foraging Horticulture Intensive agriculture
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1-5 Near-East-agriculture-compressed - SOUTHWEST ASIA: THE...

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