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qilid“drained field” (drained terrace, ridged terrace).Leveled terrace land, the surface of which is tilled andditch mounded (usually in cross-contour fashion) forcultivation and drainage of dry crops, such as sweetpotatoes and legumes. Drained fields, though pri-vately owned,are kept in this temporary state for onlya minimum number of annual cycles before shifting(back) to a more permanent form of terrace use. . . .payo“pond field” (bunded terrace, rice terrace, ricefield). Leveled farmland, bunded to retain irrigationwater for shallow inundation of artificial soil, andcarefully worked for the cultivation of wet-field rice,taro, and other crops; privately owned discrete unitswith permanent stone markers; the most valued of allland forms.Source: Conklin, H. C. (1967–68). Some Aspects of Ethnographic Research in Ifugao.New York Academy of Sciences, Transactions,ser. 2, 30, 107–108.
small and mobile,but farming communities created morefavorable environments for pathogens (causative agentsof disease). Close contact with livestock allowed patho-gens to move from animals to humans,accumulations ofrubbish provided fertile breeding grounds for diseasesand pests,and large communities provided the abundantreserves of potential victims that epidemic diseases needto flourish and spread. Thus, as populations grew andexchanges between communities multiplied, diseasestraveled more freely from region to region.Their impacttook the form of a series of epidemiological decrescendosthat began with catastrophic epidemics and were fol-lowed by less disastrous outbreaks as immune systems inregion after region adapted to the new diseases.As the historian William McNeill has shown, long-range epidemiological exchanges within the Afro-Eurasian world zone immunized the populations of thiszone against a wide range of diseases to which popula-tions in other world zones remained more vulnerable.Trans-Eurasian epidemiological exchanges may helpexplain the slow growth of much of Eurasia during thefirst millennium CE; they may also explain why, once theworld was united after 1500 CE, epidemiological ex-changes had a catastrophic impact on regions outsideAfro-Eurasia.Hierarchies of PowerIn many tropical regions people harvested root cropspiecemeal as they were needed. However, in regions ofgrain farming, such as southwestern Asia, China, andMesoamerica, plants ripened at the same time; thus,entire crops had to be harvested and stored in a shortperiod. For this reason grain agriculture required people,for the first time in history, to accumulate and store largesurpluses of food.As villages of grain farmers multipliedand their productivity rose, the size of stored surplusesgrew.Conflicts over control of these increasingly valuablesurpluses often triggered the emergence of new forms ofinequality and new systems of power.