7Reading 3-1them on fresh waters in a mild climate. Fresh water was selected because seaside vegetation has contributed relatively little to agriculture and what has been developed has come late in crop evolution. With these pre-suppositions in mind, he proposed Southeast Asia as the oldest hearth of agriculture. From there, systems spread northward into China and westward across India and the Near East, into Africa and the Mediterra-nean region, and finally into northern and western Europe. In the Americas, he located the original hearth in the northwestern part of South America from whence agriculture spread northward into Mexico, then to eastern North America, southward along the Andean chain, eastward to the Atlantic coast of Brazil, and to the Caribbean island chain. He left open the possibility that civilization might have been transmitted from the Old World to the New World.Southeast Asia was selected because most anthropologists have felt that agriculture is older in Asia than in the Americas and because that region fits most of his presuppositions best. In particular it had a mild climate and varied terrain, and was rich in fresh water aquatic resources as well as edible plants. People could settle
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Americas, fresh water, Edgar Anderson, mild climate