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Figure 2 Ancient and modern centres of agriculture. Ancient centres of origin of plant and animal domestication — the nine homelands of food production — are indicated by the orangeshaded areas on the map (based on Fig. 5.1 of Eastern US ref. 1). The most agriculturally productive areas of the modern world, as judged by cereals and major staples, are indicated by the yellow-shaded areas. Note that there is almost no overlap between the areas highlighted, except that China appears on both distributions, and that the most Mesoamerica productive areas of the central United States today approach areas of the eastern United States where domestication originated. The Andes and Amazonia reason why the two distributions are so different is that agriculture arose in areas to which the wild ancestors of the most valuable domesticable crops and animals were native, but other areas proved much more productive when those valuable domesticates reached them. Fertile Crescent China Sahel New Guinea West Africa Ethiopia Centres of origin of food production The most productive agricultural areas of the modern world continuity of material culture, and by g...
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- Fall '08