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The first agricultural revolution--transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture and settlement. (12,000 years ago)--tropical and subtropical areas of southern Asia, northern/central Africa and Central America.
Strategies such as burning, transplanting, and weeding employed to encourage the productivity of certain plant or animal species.
Intensive tending of a plant species to enhance or ensure production (i.e. clearing fields, preparing soil, weeding, watering, etc.)
Changes in the physical characteristics of a plant or animal species caused by human manipulation. Species generally become dependent on humans.
Obtaining food from intense use of previously domesticated plants and animals. New relationship with environment--smaller amounts of land; long term changes in structure/organization of societies.
Wild vs Domesticated Plants
Domesticated are attached better to the stock and have higher protein content, more/larger seeds, more brittle glume (seed coat), stronger rachis (what holds seeds to the stem).
Wild vs Domesticated Animals
Domesticated animals tend to be smaller, dumber, less aggressive and fatter, easier to control. Wild animals are larger, more lean, larger horns, and aggressive.
Advantages/Disadvantages of Agriculture
Compared to foraging populations early agriculturists have higher levels of infection, chronic malnutrition, more anemia, shorter lives, increased warfare and violence and leisure time. But, they have increased fertility and population growth.
Theories of Agricultural Origins
Environmental change--disruption in food supply.
Gradual intensification--more intensive use of particularly attractive resources.
Population pressure--population cannot be supported by key local resources, populations too high to move.
Social theories--achieve social prestige through the accumulation of surplus food.
Evidence of Domestication
Mortar and pestle, prehistoric maize cobs from Coxcatlan Cave, Teotihuacan Valley.
Earliest evidence of Maize: San Andes Cave, ca. 5,000 BC (grain pollen).
Trade networks, varying burial treatment of dead architectural hierarchy, distribution of resources etc.
Achieved and Ascribed Status
Achieved status you earn, ascribed status is something usually given (hereditary rule)
Sources of Inequality
Economic dependence, control of long distance trade luxuries, differential access to subsistence resources, privileged access to divinities/supernatural, differential mortuary treatment, protection from conflict.
Materialization of Inequality
Settlement plan, distribution of exotic goods, access to subsistence resources (sot rage, diet, nutrition), and differential mortuary treatments.
Cultural construct, societies sharing basic cultural values, beliefs, practices, across broad geographies.
Origins of State Level Societies
Urban revolution-leaders and classes of specialists
Ecology and irrigation-irrigation of rich floodplains
Technology and trade-markets
Warfare-conquest, larger political units
Multi-causal theories-multiple processes working together
Social theories (power)-economic power, religious power, prestige, political power, authority etc
Collapse of State Level Societies
Characterized by the dispersal of a population from a previously densely populated area. Caused by drought/climate change (environmental), soil degradation (agriculture), war/conquest/invasion/civil disputes (foreign entity), (economic).
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