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Unformatted text preview: siderably among regions18,19. Thus, the real question about the origins of agriculture, which I consider below, is: why did food production eventually outcompete the hunter–gatherer lifestyle over almost the whole world, at the particular times and places that it did, but not at earlier times and other places?
Changes of wild species under domestication These changes are particularly well understood for southwest Asia’s Fertile Crescent, the site of domestication that was earliest in the world and that yielded what are still the world’s most valuable domestic plant and animal species. For most species domesticated there, the wild ancestor and its wild geographic range have been identified, its relation to the domesticate proven by genetic and chromosomal studies, its changes under domestication delineated (often at the gene level), those changes traced in successive layers of
NATURE | VOL 418 | 8 AUGUST 2002 | www.nature.com/nature the archaeological record, and the approximate time and pla...
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- Fall '08