10 Reading 3-1 quantities, why should anyone bother to till the soil and plant the seed?” The same arguments could well apply to the African savanna or to California, where wild food resources were abundant. A major implication of the model is that the activities of plant domestication are likely to have taken place independently and probably simultaneously in many areas all over the world. The space-time pattern that would emerge would be almost the opposite of that of the Sauer-Anderson model. It would appear that the differences are testable by archaeological means and that even botanical and genetical evidence could come to bear on the problem. I have been using the term “diffuse origins” for over 36 yr (Harlan, 1956, 1961, 1980, 1986). The term can apply to individual crops as well as to agricultural systems. Individual crops have origins that are diffuse in time and space in the sense that they evolve over time as they spread into new regions. At the beginning of domestication, they are like the wild forms, but the end products may be enormously modi f ed and found far from the original source or sources. Agriculture as a food-producing system is diffuse in the sense that we
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