Population pressure hypothesis most popular view in recent years It comes in several versions, but all share basic idea that population growth forces foragers to adopt agriculture, because wild resources become so scarce that eventually farming is worth doing Fundamental assumption is that agriculture has only one real advantage over foraging -- it can provide more food per unit land (tho at higher labor cost per unit food yield, and often lower nutritional quality) Getting more food out of given unit of land is termed intensification ; the declining efficiency hypothesized or observed to result from intensification (because of higher labor costs) is example of "diminishing returns" (declining marginal output/unit input) Basic principle of diminishing returns w/ intensification applies within a subsistence mode as well as in shifts from one mode to another For example, adding low-ranked prey types leads to more total food harvested, but at lower efficiency (greater labor time per calorie or gram harvested)
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This note was uploaded on 11/22/2011 for the course ANT ANT2000 taught by Professor Monicaoyola during the Fall '10 term at Broward College.