Where agriculture started

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the Fertile Crescent


When did agriculture start exactly?

Agricultural communities developed approximately 10,000 years ago when humans began to domesticate plants and animals. By establishing domesticity, families and larger groups were able to build communities and transition from a nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyle dependent on foraging and hunting for survival.


When and where was agriculture invented?

Until now, researchers believed farming was “invented” some 12,000 years ago in the Cradle of Civilization — Iraq, the Levant, parts of Turkey and Iran — an area that was home to some of the earliest known human civilizations.


Who started agriculture?

Egyptians were among the first peoples to practice agriculture on a large scale, starting in the pre-dynastic period from the end of the Paleolithic into the Neolithic, between around 10,000 BC and 4000 BC. This was made possible with the development of basin irrigation.


Where did agriculture begin in India?

Indian agriculture began by 9000 BCE on north-west India with the early cultivation of plants, and domestication of crops and animals. Indian subcontinent agriculture was the largest producer of wheat and grain. They settled life soon followed with implements and techniques being developed for agriculture.


When did agriculture begin?

The first agriculture appears to have developed at the closing of the last Pleistocene glacial period, or Ice Age (about 11,700 years ago).


Why do archaeologists study agricultural origins?

Because some resource management practices, such as intensively tending nondomesticated nut-bearing trees, bridge the boundary between foraging and farming, archaeologists investigating agricultural origins generally frame their work in terms of a continuum of subsistence practices.


What is plant and animal management?

Plant and animal management was and is a familiar concept within hunting and gathering cultures, but it took on new dimensions as natural selection and mutation produced phenotypes that were increasingly reliant upon people.


Which Native American peoples developed complex methods to manage diverse sets of plants and animals?

For instance, Australian Aborigines and many of the Native American peoples of western North America developed complex methods to manage diverse sets of plants and animals, often including (but not limited to) cultivation.


Where do dogs get their meat from?

When considered in terms of food management, dogs may have been initially domesticated as hunting companions, while meat and milk could be obtained more reliably from herds of sheep, goats, reindeer, or cattle than from their wild counterparts or other game animals.


Does agriculture have to be a response to food scarcity?

Notably, agriculture does not appear to have developed in particularly impoverished settings; domestication does not seem to have been a response to food scarcity or deprivation. In fact, quite the opposite appears to be the case.


Where did farming originate?

The idea that farming began in a single population came from initial archaeological discoveries in one part of the Mideast — the Southern Levant , says Melinda Zeder, an archaeologist at the Smithsonian Museum of Natural History, who wasn’t involved in the study.


Where was the first farm in the world?

The Zagros Mountain range, which lies at the border between Iran and Iraq, was home to some of the world’s earliest farmers. The Zagros Mountain range, which lies at the border between Iran and Iraq, was home to some of the world’s earliest farmers. Sometime around 12,000 years ago, our hunter-gatherer ancestors began trying their hand at farming.


Where did the DNA of the ancient people live?

Burger and an international team of scientists analyzed ancient DNA from the remains of four individuals who lived about 10,000 years ago on the eastern edges of the Fertile Crescent — the Zagros Mountains on the border between Iraq and Iran. They compared the DNA of these individuals with that of skeletons that were a couple of thousand years younger and had been found way on the other end of the Fertile Crescent, a region that includes modern-day Turkey.


Where did the Zagros farmers move to?

An unpublished study by a team at Harvard Medical School confirms the genetic closeness of the early Zagros farmers with South Asians, and also shows that the early farmers of the Southern Levant (modern-day Syria and Palestine) moved to Africa, taking their farming traditions south with them. Clearly, the different populations in different parts of the Middle East migrated in different directions.


Where did farmers live?

The earliest farmers lived in the Fertile Crescent, a region in the Middle East including modern-day Iraq, Jordan, Syria, Israel, Palestine, southeastern Turkey and western Iran. And scientists had long assumed these early farmers were a homogenous group that traded and intermingled, swapping farming tools and tricks — as well as their genes. In other words, farming was long believed to have been started by one group of ancestral humans.


Where did the Stone Age farmers come from?

Just last month, he published a study that found that late Stone Age farmers from the Turkey region had migrated north into Europe and introduced farming there. So understandably, he had expected to be able to trace European agriculture all the way back to the eastern Fertile Crescent. But that’s not what the DNA said.


Did farming start in the fertile crescent?

In other words, farming was long believed to have been started by one group of ancestral humans. But a new study suggests something different — that multiple groups of people in the Fertile Crescent started agriculture, and these groups were genetically distinct from one another.


Where did farming originate?

Archaeologists and palaeontologists have traced the origins of farming to around 10,000 years ago, to somewhere in the Indus Valley, and possibly as a separate development in China along the Yangtze River (6) .


When did agriculture start in North America?

It is likely that agriculture came to the North America relatively late, perhaps between 2500 and 2000 BC and we see it extensively with such civilizations as the Hohokam, the Anasazi and ancient Pueblos (17), possibly developing in Mesoamerica around 6000 BC with the domestication of maize.


What were the crops of Mesoamerica?

In Mesoamerica and South America, with the Inca, the Maya, Olmecs and the Aztecs, relatively early development of agriculture permitted the building of enormous cities that impressed the European colonizers; it was quickly identified that these civilizations had an impressive agriculture-based economy that stood on a par with Europe, challenging what was then understood about the development of civilization. In Mesoamerica it was corn and in South America it was the humble potato (18) – today the staple crop of most people in the western world, along with coca and the domestication of animal species such as llama and alpaca.


What did hunter-gatherers do?

For most of our existence, humans were hunter-gatherers. This means that people lived a nomadic lifestyle, moving with the seasons to follow the food supply. As the glaciers retreated and plant life patterns and growth areas changed in response, it meant that the need to move so often became slightly less essential – though undoubtedly the lifestyle carried on for thousands of years as people sought to maximize their resource acquisition (4, p574-5). Hunter-gatherer societies would have known which crops were best to exploit with each season.


What was the Middle East’s agricultural revolution?

The Middle East continued to see much innovation in the agricultural industries, something that historians refer to as The Arab Agricultural Revolution (10). This was thanks to the diversity of the local topographies, the crops grown in the Middle East and Indus Valley that European societies coveted, and later acted as a trade bridge between Far East and Europe (11).


What is the early civilization?

Early Civilization. Early civilization can be considered a boom time in agricultural science and technology. Around 5500 BC (7, p26-28), the Sumerian civilization of the Middle East and other early pre Greco-Roman civilizations understood the need for a specialized agricultural workforce for their societies to thrive.


How did farming start?

The three field crop rotation system was replaced with a four field system and sweeping enclosure acts regulated land management, selective cross-breeding began on an industrial scale to increase crop size as well as yields creating several cultivars in the process. Animal husbandry also improved, leading to a greater surplus than had been permissible under the old system. It is said that these changes permitted the industrial revolution and even greater concentration of urban development, fueling the empire. How so? More crops for fewer workers, better methods of keeping and replacing nutrients in the soil meant that more people could work in industry. When the Corn Laws in England were repealed, it began the global food economy; about the same time, Charles Darwin’s Theory of Evolution put agriculture on the modern path of a science as we began to understand the development of crops.


What is the origin of agriculture?

origins of agriculture, the active production of useful plants or animals in ecosystems that have been created by people. Agriculture has often been conceptualized narrowly, in terms of specific combinations of activities and organisms—wet-rice production in Asia, wheat farming in Europe, cattle


Why is agriculture a cultural phenomenon?

Because it is a cultural phenomenon, agriculture has varied considerably across time and space. Domesticated plants and animals have been (and continue to be) raised at scales ranging from the household to massive commercial operations.


What is the process of domestication?

Domesticationis a biological process in which, under human selection, organisms develop characteristics that increase their utility, as when plants provide larger seeds, fruit, or tubers than their wild progenitors. Known as cultigens, domesticated plants come from a wide range of families (groups of closely related genera that share a common ancestor; seegenus). The grass(Poaceae), bean(Fabaceae), and nightshadeor potato(Solanaceae) families have produced a disproportionately large number of cultigens because they have characteristics that are particularly amenableto domestication.


What are domesticated animals?

Domesticated animals tend to have developed from species that are social in the wild and that, like plants, could be bred to increase the traits that are advantageous for people. Most domesticated animals are more docilethan their wild counterparts, and they often produce more meat, wool, or milk as well. They have been used for traction, transport, pest control, assistance, and companionship and as a form of wealth. Species with abundant domesticated varieties, or breeds, include the dog(Canis lupus familiaris), cat(Felis catus), cattle(Bosspecies), sheep(Ovisspecies), goat(Capraspecies), swine (Susspecies), horse(Equus caballus), chicken(Gallus gallus), and duckand goose(family Anatidae).


Why do grasses have cultigens?

The grass ( Poaceae ), bean ( Fabaceae ), and nightshade or potato ( Solanaceae) families have produced a disproportionately large number of cultigens because they have characteristics that are particularly amenable to domestication.


What happens to plants and animals over time?

Over time, some plants and animals have become domesticated, or dependent on these and other human interventions for their long-term propagation or survival.


Is agriculture an environmental engineer?

Agriculture has often been conceptualized narrowly, in terms of specific combinations of activities and organisms—wet-rice production in Asia, wheat farming in Europe, cattle ranching in the Americas, and the like—but a more holistic perspective holds that humans are environmental engineers who disrupt terrestrial habitats in specific ways.


Why did people start farming?

In the Near East, for example, it’s thought that climatic changes at the end of the last ice age brought seasonal conditions that favored annual plants like wild cereals. Elsewhere, such as in East Asia, increased pressure on natural food resources may have forced people to find homegrown solutions. But whatever the reasons for its independent origins, farming sowed the seeds for the modern age.


When did rice and millet farming start?

The origins of rice and millet farming date to around 6,000 B.C.E.


What mutation occurred during the spread of farming into southeastern Europe?

But at some point during the spread of farming into southeastern Europe, a mutation occurred for lactose tolerance that increased in frequency through natural selection thanks to the nourishing benefits of milk.


What was the farming revolution?

Taking root around 12,000 years ago, agriculture triggered such a change in society and the way in which people lived that its development has been dubbed the ” Neolithic Revolution.”. Traditional hunter-gatherer lifestyles, followed by humans since their evolution, were swept aside in favor of permanent settlements …


Where did wheat come from?

The wild progenitors of crops including wheat, barley and peas are traced to the Near East region. Cereals were grown in Syria as long as 9,000 years ago, while figs were cultivated even earlier; prehistoric seedless fruits discovered in the Jordan Valley suggest fig trees were being planted some 11,300 years ago.


When did corn cobs first appear?

While maize-like plants derived from teosinte appear to have been cultivated at least 9,000 years ago, the first directly dated corn cob dates only to around 5,500 years ago . Corn later reached North America, where cultivated sunflowers also started to bloom some 5,000 years ago.


How long ago did goats come to Europe?

Dates for the domestication of these animals range from between 13,000 to 10,000 years ago. Genetic studies show that goats and other livestock accompanied the westward spread of agriculture into Europe, helping to revolutionize Stone Age society. While the extent to which farmers themselves migrated west remains a subject of debate, …


Where did agriculture originate?

The earliest civilizations based on intensive agriculture arose near the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers in Mesopotamia (now Iraq and Iran) and along the Nile River in Egypt. Improved Technology. For thousands of years, agricultural development was very slow. One of the earliest agricultural tools was fire.


When did people start farming?

About 11,500 years ago , people gradually learned how to grow cereal and root crops, and settled down to a life based on farming. By 2,000 years ago, much of the Earth’s population had become dependent on agriculture.


How do farmers protect their crops from pests?

Traditionally, farmers have used a variety of methods to protect their crops from pests and diseases. They have put herb-based poisons on crops, handpicked insects off plants, bred strong varieties of crops, and rotated crops to control insects. Now, almost all farmers, especially in developed countries, rely on chemicals to control pests. The definition of “pest” ranges from insects to animals such as rabbits and mice, as well as weeds and disease-causing organisms—bacteria, viruses, and fungi. With the use of chemicals, crop losses and prices have declined dramatically.


What is the science of agriculture?

Agriculture is the art and science of cultivating the soil, growing crops and raising livestock. It includes the preparation of plant and animal products for people to use and their distribution to markets. Agriculture provides most of the world’s food and fabrics. Cotton, wool, and leather are all agricultural products.


What animals did people domesticate?

People also domesticated cattle and pigs. Most of these animals had once been hunted for hides and meat. Now many of them are also sources of milk, cheese, and butter. Eventually, people used domesticated animals such as oxen for plowing, pulling, and transportation. Agriculture enabled people to produce surplus food.


How did agriculture help people?

Agriculture enabled people to produce surplus food. They could use this extra food when crops failed or trade it for other goods. Food surpluses allowed people to work at other tasks unrelated to farming. Agriculture kept formerly nomadic people near their fields and led to the development of permanent villages.


What tools did people use to make food?

Over time, improved farming tools of bone, stone, bronze, and iron were developed. New methods of storage evolved. People began stockpiling foods in jars and clay-lined pits for use in times of scarcity. They also began making clay pots and other vessels for carrying and cooking food.


What is the history of agriculture?

Agriculture being a major source of the basic needs of man (food, shelter and clothes) and other products for human existence has over the years undergone modifications and applications. The history of agriculture is as old as human existence.


When was agriculture invented?

In the Neolithic era , some argue that the real origin of agriculture cannot be established because by then writing has not been invented as at the time men started gathering and hunting. The earliest plants cultivated were rye (10,000 BCE), wild grain in Africa and Asia (20000 BCE), rachis (about 9500 BCE), wheat, barley, flax, peas, fig trees etc.


What were the crops that were grown in the Bronze Age?

The Sumerians used special labour force in addition to the use of land for monocropping and irrigation. This was followed by the Egyptians who were farming at the Nile valley. Grapes, wheat, barley, apples, dates, etc were some of the crops cultivated in this era. Oxen were used for ploughing and sickles were used in harvesting sickles. The Syrians were known to make use of wagons, oxen, collars and headstals.


What was the agricultural system in the classical era?

The classical era of agriculture was dominated by the Romans & Greece which they learnt from the Sumerians. The Romans were known for their Monarial economic system . Their farms have various sizes-small, medium and large. The management of the farms were the farmers themselves, slave managers, tenant farming as well as leasing them to tenants. Depending on the type of soil, their agricultural specialization was based on the production of olive oil, wine and grains.


Why did Nutafian people start farming?

As a result of increased demand for agricultural products ( plant and animal products) people then commenced exploring agriculture so as to make it better and sustainable . The quest for better ways for agricultural production has therefore over the years encouraged increased demand for agricultural resources. By history, people that started agriculture believed that plants or crops that are now cultivated domestically were in past times wild in nature.


Why did man go into agriculture?

Besides, man has the responsibility of apart from taking good care of himself but also have responsibility of taking care of his family. Because food, shelter, clothes, medicines, etc are very important for the survival of humans, man had no choice other than to seek for a way to have these basic necessities and therefore propelled man into agriculture.


Why is the Stone Age called the Stone Age?

Because man and his family needed to survive and stay healthy and lively man started gathering fruits as well as hunting animals and other agricultural products (plant/crop products and animal products). This is termed the gathering and hunting era. In this era man was making use of available crude equipment including sticks and stones. This is why this era may be referred to as the stone age.


Where did plantation agriculture begin?

Plantation agriculture, using slaves, developed in Virginia and Maryland (where tobacco was grown), and South Carolina (where indigo and rice was grown). Cotton became a major plantation crop after 1800 in the ” Black Belt ,” that is the region from North Carolina in an arc through Texas where the climate allowed for cotton cultivation.


How did ethnicity affect farming?

They adapted Old World techniques to a much more abundant land supply. Furthermore, the Germans showed a long-term tendency to keep the farm in the family and to avoid having their children move to towns. For example, they generally preferred oxen to horses for plowing. The Scots Irish built their livelihoods on some farming but more herding (of hogs and cattle). In the American colonies, the Scots-Irish focused on mixed farming. Using this technique, they grew corn for human consumption and for livestock feed, especially for hogs. Many improvement-minded farmers of different backgrounds began using new agricultural practices to increase their output. During the 1750s, these agricultural innovators replaced the hand sickles and scythes used to harvest hay, wheat, and barley with the cradle scythe, a tool with wooden fingers that arranged the stalks of grain for easy collection. This tool was able to triple the amount of work done by a farmer in one day. A few scientifically informed farmers (mostly wealthy planters like George Washington) began fertilizing their fields with dung and lime and rotating their crops to keep the soil fertile.


How was wheat sown in the colonial era?

In the colonial era, wheat was sown by broadcasting, reaped by sickles, and threshed by flails. The kernels were then taken to a grist mill for grinding into flour. In 1830, it took four people and two oxen, working 10 hours a day, to produce 200 bushels. New technology greatly increased productivity in the 19th century, as sowing with drills replaced broadcasting, cradles took the place of sickles, and the cradles in turn were replaced by reapers and binders. Steam-powered threshing machines superseded flails. By 1895, in Bonanza farms in the Dakotas, it took six people and 36 horses pulling huge harvesters, working 10 hours a day, to produce 20,000 bushels. In the 1930s the gasoline powered “combine” combined reaping and threshing into one operation that took one person to operate. Production grew from 85 million bushels in 1839, 500 million in 1880, 600 million in 1900, and peaked at 1.0 billion bushels in 1915. Prices fluctuated erratically, with a downward trend in the 1890s that caused great distress in the Plains states.


Why did the South use mules?

Sawers (2005) shows how southern farmers made the mule their preferred draft animal in the South during the 1860s–1920s, primarily because it fit better with the region’s geography. Mules better withstood the heat of summer, and their smaller size and hooves were well suited for such crops as cotton, tobacco, and sugar. The character of soils and climate in the lower South hindered the creation of pastures, so the mule breeding industry was concentrated in the border states of Missouri, Kentucky, and Tennessee. Transportation costs combined with topography to influence the prices of mules and horses, which in turn affected patterns of mule use. The economic and production advantages associated with mules made their use a progressive step for Southern agriculture that endured until the mechanization brought by tractors. : 667–90 Beginning around the mid-20th century, Texas began to transform from a rural and agricultural state to one that was urban and industrialized.


What was the first tool used to harvest wheat?

During the 1750s, these agricultural innovators replaced the hand sickles and scythes used to harvest hay, wheat, and barley with the cradle scythe, a tool with wooden fingers that arranged the stalks of grain for easy collection. This tool was able to triple the amount of work done by a farmer in one day.


How many acres were purchased in the Homestead Act of 1862?

The federal government issued 160-acre (65 ha) tracts for very cheap costs to about 400,000 families who settled new land under the Homestead Act of 1862. Even larger numbers purchased lands at very low interest from the new railroads, which were trying to create markets. The railroads advertised heavily in Europe and brought over, at low fares, hundreds of thousands of farmers from Germany, Scandinavia, and Britain. The Dominion Lands Act of 1871 served a similar function for establishing homesteads on the prairies in Canada.


What did the Plymouth colonists plant?

The first settlers in Plymouth Colony planted barley and peas from England but their most important crop was Indian corn ( maize) which they were shown how to cultivate by the native Squanto. To fertilize this crop, they used small fish which they called herrings or shads.

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Prehistory


Early Civilization

  • Early civilization can be considered a boom time in agricultural science and technology. Around 5500 BC (7, p26-28), the Sumerian civilization of the Middle East and other early pre Greco-Roman civilizations understood the need for a specialized agricultural workforce for their societies to thrive. It is in this period that we saw the invention of …

See more on environmentalscience.org


Early to Modern Civilization

  • The Middle East continued to see much innovation in the agricultural industries, something that historians refer to as The Arab Agricultural Revolution (10). This was thanks to the diversity of the local topographies, the crops grown in the Middle East and Indus Valley that European societies coveted, and later acted as a trade bridge between Far East and Europe (11). In Europe, little cha…

See more on environmentalscience.org


The Americas

  • Mass agricultural practices were not particularly present in North America until the arrival of the European colonists. It’s certainly not true that the Native Americans had no agriculture; indeed, there is evidence for some limited agricultural practices (16) but it was not universal across the tribes. Some were completely nomadic and some were largely static – these were not geographi…

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Modern Farming

  • Modern farming began around the 18thcentury in what is generally referred to as “The British Agricultural Revolution” when several advances and changes were made to farming in a short space of time that saw massive increases in yield and a more efficient process. The three field crop rotation system was replaced with a four field system and sweeping enclosure acts regulat…

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The Ecological Age

  • “Sustainability” is the buzzword today as we look to balance several conflicting needs – to protect the environment and to instigate practices that protects it while providing for the growing needs of the future population growth. Today, our food supply feeds 7 billion people and there is still enough surplus for more going forward (20). We know though that some of these practices hav…

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