Assignment 6

Assignment 6 - Katherine Stewart Anthro 3 Assignment 6...

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Katherine Stewart Anthro 3 – Assignment 6 Jessica Kaplan – T 10:00 Food Production The rise of agriculture is shrouded by many theories as to its beginnings, and has always been praised as one of the most important innovations of humans. However, there were also drawbacks to the rise of agriculture, and we find ourselves today taking it to a whole new level. Mass-production of food in modern society continues to plague us the way the early roots of agriculture did prehistoric humans. Farmer’s gave up the leisure time of the nomadic hunter-gatherers lifestyle. This willingness to give up the lifestyle of living off the land all for the assurance and abundance of food has caused many problems, but also has allowed for trade and modern civilizations to flourish. There are many theories that attempt to explain the reasons for the rise of agriculture. The first major theory of food production is the Oasis theory. I believe this to be one of the most important theories to explain the rise of agriculture. The theory states that hunter-gatherers gradually settled “oases” where resources were most abundant. This constitutes areas near rivers where access to water would have easily facilitated the rise of agriculture. The Hilly Flanks theory is a similar model that has to do with moving to areas where production of agriculture was a more viable option. This model has to do with the theory that people moved to places where native plants grew well such as in the low hills. This allowed for them to easily begin cultivating the plants because they already knew that they grew well in that area. Although these two theories are somewhat contradictory, both are still good theories for reasons for the rise of agriculture, and both
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phenomena may have been going on in different regions. Population and resource theory is the third most important model for the rise of agriculture. This claims that agriculture was a gradual progression starting from the need to limit risk to an ever-growing population. Food storage methods, for example, were an inevitable solution to the need to eliminate risk from environmental factors such as drought that can hurt a hunter-gatherer society. Agriculture, claims this theory, was simply the development of a method to secure food for a population that could not simply depend on the natural land to provide
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Assignment 6 - Katherine Stewart Anthro 3 Assignment 6...

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