Unformatted text preview: 9 Reading 3-1 support from these studies. More studies and better data are needed, but we have ample anthropological and ethnographical evidence to show that increasing the food supply through cultivation means an increase in work. In general, the more inten sive the agricultural system, the more work is required for a unit of food. Thus, if we are to understand the origins of agriculture, we must visualize situations in which man is willing to expend more energy to obtain food. In this respect, farming is not so attractive that gatherers are likely to take it up on sight or on f rst contact. Some rather compelling reasons would seem to be required. In pre-agricultural times the human population was not regulated by the food supply. If this were the case, Binford (1968) has pointed out that two corollaries would follow: “l) Man would be continually seek- ing means of increasing his food supply,” and “2) It is only when man is freed from preoccupation with the food quest that he has time to elaborate culture.” From what we have seen, both are patently false. Popula- tions of hunter-gatherers are regulated well below the carrying capacity of the range, and the environment...
View Full Document
- Summer '10
- History, food supply, Lewis Binford, square kilometers, food procurement systems