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Unformatted text preview: mpeted the other local hunter–gatherer societies. In fact, food production arose independently in at most nine areas of the world (Fertile Crescent, China, Mesoamerica, Andes/Amazonia, eastern United States, Sahel, tropical West Africa, Ethiopia and New Guinea). The puzzle increases when one scrutinizes that list of homelands. One might again naively have expected the areas most productive for farming today to correspond, at least roughly, to the areas most productive in the past. In reality, the list of homelands and the list of breadbaskets of the modern world are almost mutually exclusive (Fig. 2). The latter list includes California, North America’s Great Plains, Europe, the pampas of Argentina, the cape of southern Africa, the Indian subcontinent, Java and Australia’s wheat belt. Because these areas are evidently so well suited to farming or herding today, why were they not so in the past? The explanation is that the homelands of agriculture were instead merely those regions to which the most numerous and most valuabl...
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This note was uploaded on 12/10/2012 for the course HORT 306 taught by Professor Staff during the Fall '08 term at Purdue.
- Fall '08