• The Origin of Agriculture: The Importance of Environmental Change

    Pages: 5

    A 5 page review of two articles that investigate the importance of climatic change induced by the Younger Dryas in Southwest Asia. While these articles suggest that climate might be the only factor that was important in the origin of agriculture, the author of this paper contends that there is typically no one answer in archaeology. Nor is there one methodology or technique that is always superior to another in the acquisition of such answers. Bibliography lists 2 sources.

    File: AM2_PPagOrgn.rtf

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    have been presented over time to explain the origin of agriculture. Moore and Hillman (1992) relate this origin to a major change in climate that occurred as a result  of the Younger Dryas (ca. 11,000-10,000 BP), a Late Glacial phenomena that resulted in a downward swing in temperatures all over the world. These authors suggest that the Younger  Dryas not only impacted climate and natural ecosystems but also impacted human economy in the southwest Asia region, with one of the most notable changes being the origin of agriculture  (Moore and Hillman, 1992). Moore and Hillman (1992) base their explanation on pollen core evidence and vegetative remains found in Abu Hureyra I, an early village in Southwest Asia.  Moore and Hillmans investigations are not that unique in this region. This same region has, in fact, been the site of considerable attention in regard to its importance  in the origin of agriculture (Bar-Yosef, 2004). The techniques that have been employed are diverse to say the least. These techniques include the calibration of radiocarbon dates, genetic  research utilizing strontium isotopes, and DNA analysis, and even linguistics (Bar-Yosef, 2004). By analyzing pollen cores taken not just from Lake  Huleh but also from numerous other locations in Southwest Asia Moore and Hillman (1992) these researchers have identified a major change in climate and vegetation, a change that they contend  prompted early inhabitants of Abu Hureyra to alter their plant gathering activities accordingly. These changes are believed to have resulted in significant cultural changes, changes that extended to lifeways  and to settlement patterns (Moore and Hillman, 1992). According to the theory of these researchers these changes resulted in such significant stress on the peoples of the region that 

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