Why did agriculture emerge when and where it did


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.Jun 2, 2022

Where did agriculture emerge?

Agriculture originated in a few small hubs around the world, but probably first in the Fertile Crescent, a region of the Near East including parts of modern-day Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Israel and Jordan.

When did agriculture first arise?

between 7,000 and 10,000 years agoHumans invented agriculture between 7,000 and 10,000 years ago, during the Neolithic era, or the New Stone Age. There were eight Neolithic crops: emmer wheat, einkorn wheat, peas, lentils, bitter vetch, hulled barley, chickpeas, and flax. The Neolithic era ended with the development of metal tools.

Where did agriculture arose?

Agriculture arose independently in at least three regions: South America, Mesoamerica, and eastern North America.

Why did the agricultural revolution occur when and where it did?

The First Agricultural Revolution, or the Neolithic Revolution, began around 10,000 B.C. Humans shifted from being hunter-gathers to being subsistence farmers and herders. The Second Agricultural Revolution, or the British Agricultural Revolution, began around 300 years ago during the 18th century.

When and where did agriculture first began?

Agriculture was developed at least 10,000 years ago, and it has undergone significant developments since the time of the earliest cultivation. Independent development of agriculture occurred in northern and southern China, Africa’s Sahel, New Guinea and several regions of the Americas.

Why did agriculture begin independently around the world about the same time?

Overall, the climate and environment became better suited to agriculture over time. At the same time, populations were expanding in the Northeast, which likely put at least some pressure on those populations to have more reliable food sources.

When did agriculture arise in the Americas?

Agriculture began independently in both North and South America ∼10,000 years before present (YBP), within a few thousand years of the arrival of humans in the Americas. This contrasts with the thousands of years that people were present in the old world before agriculture developed.

When did agriculture begin in Mesopotamia?

The regular flooding along the Tigris and the Euphrates made the land around them especially fertile and ideal for growing crops for food. That made it a prime spot for the Neolithic Revolution, also called the Agricultural Revolution, that began to take place almost 12,000 years ago.

Why did agriculture develop in so many places at about the same time?

Why do you think the development of agriculture occurred around the same time in several different places? People were changing and when it comes to agriculture there was global warming which helped crops to grow for longer periods of time. There was no bad weather to kill the crops.

Where did the first Agricultural Revolution occur?

the Fertile CrescentThe Neolithic Revolution started around 10,000 B.C. in the Fertile Crescent, a boomerang-shaped region of the Middle East where humans first took up farming. Shortly after, Stone Age humans in other parts of the world also began to practice agriculture.

When did the Agricultural Revolution start in Europe?

18th centuryDuring the 18th century, the improvement in agricultural techniques led to higher yields and better food quality: the extension of farmland, the introduction of new crops and the end of fallowing thanks to crop rotation.

What were the factors that led to the Agricultural Revolution?

The increased agricultural production of the 18th century can be traced to four interrelated factors:The increased availability of farmland.A favorable climate.More livestock.Improved crop yield.

Where did agriculture originate?

By 8000 BC, farming was entrenched on the banks of the Nile. About this time, agriculture was developed independently in the Far East, probably in China, with rice rather than wheat as the primary crop. Maize was domesticated from the wild grass teosinte in southern Mexico by 6700 BC.

How long ago did agriculture start?

Wild grains were collected and eaten from at least 105,000 years ago.

What were the first foods that were domesticated in the New World?

The potato (8000 BC), tomato, pepper (4000 BC), squash (8000 BC) and several varieties of bean (8000 BC onwards) were domesticated in the New World. Agriculture was independently developed on the island of New Guinea.

What are the social issues that modern agriculture has raised?

Modern agriculture has raised social, political, and environmental issues including overpopulation, water pollution, biofuels, genetically modified organisms, tariffs and farm subsidies. In response, organic farming developed in the twentieth century as an alternative to the use of synthetic pesticides.

How has agriculture changed since 1900?

Since 1900, agriculture in the developed nations, and to a lesser extent in the developing world, has seen large rises in productivity as human labour has been replaced by mechanization, and assisted by synthe tic fertilizers, pesticides, and selective breeding.

What were the crops that were introduced in the Middle Ages?

In the Middle Ages, both in the Islamic world and in Europe, agriculture was transformed with improved techniques and the diffusion of crop plants, including the introduction of sugar, rice, cotton and fruit trees such as the orange to Europe by way of Al-Andalus.

Why was clover important to agriculture?

The use of clover was especially important as the legume roots replenished soil nitrates. The mechanisation and rationalisation of agriculture was another important factor.

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.

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 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.

When did hunter-gatherers start farming?

Sometime around 12,000 years ago, our hunter-gatherer ancestors began trying their hand at farming. First, they grew wild varieties of crops like peas, lentils and barley and herded wild animals like goats and wild oxen. Centuries later, they switched to farming full time, breeding both animals and plants, creating new varieties and breeds.

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 agriculture originate?

We believe that it emerged independently and spread from places as varied as Mesopotamia, China, South America and sub-Saharan Africa. As we explore more, it is likely that scientists will find more places where agriculture may have emerged even earlier. The birth of agriculture is often referred to as the Neolithic Revolution since it seems to coincide with the Neolithic period—or new stone age. The Neolithic period’s name stems from the fact that stone artifacts were more smooth and refined than those of the Paleolithic period, or old stone age. Many of these tools facilitated early agriculture.

Why did many societies switch from hunting and foraging to settled agriculture?

One of these theories is that a surplus in production led to greater population. Not everyone needed to be focused on food production, which led to specialization of labor and complex societies.

What is the name of the branch of agriculture that herds animals?

Pastoralism: a branch of agriculture. A branch of agriculture—called pastoralism—began around the same time as cultivation of plants. Pastoralism is the domestication and herding of animals such as goats, sheep, and cattle.

What is the birth of agriculture called?

The birth of agriculture is often referred to as the Neolithic Revolution since it seems to coincide with the Neolithic period—or new stone age.

Why did preagricultural societies need more energy?

For many of these preagricultural societies, a good bit of their energy went into just getting more energy—in other words, food—to keep going and reproduce. There also couldn’t be too many humans living in one area since there was only so much food to be found or killed .

What is the relationship between pastoralists and farmers?

Pastoralists’ military-related artifacts suggest that they may have come into conflict with farming societies; however, in other cases, pastoralists traded goods with farmers in a cooperative relationship.

Why is breeding plants and animals important?

This is because breeding plants and animals has significantly increased the availability of human consumable calories per square kilometer. One way to think about it is that we replaced things that weren’t consumable by humans with things that were.

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 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.

Why are domesticated animals more docile than wild 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 docile than their wild counterparts, and they often produce more meat, wool, or milk as well.

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.

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.



Modern agriculture

Between the 17th century and the mid-19th century, Britain saw a large increase in agricultural productivity and net output. New agricultural practices like enclosure, mechanization, four-field crop rotation to maintain soil nutrients, and selective breeding enabled an unprecedented population growth to 5.7 million in 1750, freeing up a significant percentage of the workforce, and thereby helped …


Scholars have developed a number of hypotheses to explain the historical origins of agriculture. Studies of the transition from hunter-gatherer to agricultural societies indicate an antecedent period of intensification and increasing sedentism; examples are the Natufian culture in the Levant, and the Early Chinese Neolithic in China. Current models indicate that wild stands that …


Sumerian farmers grew the cereals barley and wheat, starting to live in villages from about 8000 BC. Given the low rainfall of the region, agriculture relied on the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Irrigation canals leading from the rivers permitted the growth of cereals in large enough quantities to support cities. The first ploughs appear in pictographs from Uruk around 3000 BC; seed-ploughs that funneled s…

Middle Ages and Early Modern period

From 100 BC to 1600 AD, world population continued to grow along with land use, as evidenced by the rapid increase in methane emissions from cattle and the cultivation of rice.
The Middle Ages saw further improvements in agriculture. Monasteries spread throughout Europe and became important centers for the collection of knowled…

See also

• Agricultural expansion
• Effects of climate change on agriculture
• Farming/language dispersal hypothesis
• Green revolution

Further reading

• Manning, Richard (1 February 2005). Against the Grain: How Agriculture Has Hijacked Civilization. Farrar, Straus and Giroux. ISBN 978-1-4668-2342-6.
• Civitello, Linda. Cuisine and Culture: A History of Food and People (Wiley, 2011) excerpt
• Federico, Giovanni. Feeding the World: An Economic History of Agriculture 1800–2000 (Princeton UP, 2005) highly quantitative

External links

• “The Core Historical Literature of Agriculture” from Cornell University Library

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