Unformatted text preview: e host of unsolved questions, I focus here on six: what triggered the emergence of agriculture around 8500 BC and why did it not evolve earlier? Do crop and livestock species stem from a single domestication event or from multiple independent domestications? Can areas of food production be segregated into primary and secondary homelands, the latter describing areas where the arrival of primary homeland crops triggered local domestication? How did food production spread? Why were large domestic mammals predominantly Eurasian? And how can we gain a better understanding of the history of domestication of particular species?
Why then but not earlier? The human lineage diverged from that of chimpanzees around 6,000,000 years ago. For the next 99.8% of our separate history, there was no agriculture, until it emerged independently in up to nine areas on four continents in the short span of 6,000 years between 8500 and 2500 BC. All of those nearly-simultaneous independent origins seem to be too much of a coincidence. What triggered agriculture repeatedly the...
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- Fall '08