Agriculture and the Modern World
Agriculture and the Modern World AG 101
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DISCUSSION PAPERS Institute of Economics University of Copenhagen 0341 From Foraging to Farming Explaining the Neolithic Revolution Jacob L Weisdorf Studiestraede 6 DK 1455 Copenhagen K Denmark Tel 45 35 32 30 82 Fax 45 35 32 30 00 httpwwweconkudk From Foraging to Farming Explaining the Neolithic Revolution Jacob L Weisdorfl November 4 2003 Abstract This paper reviews the main theories and evidence regarding the prehisi toric shift from hunting and gathering to agriculture an event which took place for the rst time some 10000 years ago The transition which is also known as the Neolithic Revolution led to the rise of civilisation as we know it and seems to have borne the seeds for the later process of industrialisation and for economic growth in general The paper provides brief historical survey of the leading hypotheses concerning the rise of agriculture proposed in the archaeological and anthropological literature It then turns to a more detailed review of the theories proposed in the economic literature Keywords agriculture huntingigathering neolithic revolution transii tlon JEL codes N50 030 Q10 1 would like to thank John Chircop CarliJohan Dalgaard Charles Dalli Christian Groth Finn Tarp and the lunchimeeting participants at University o alta their commen s I am particularly indebted to Charlott H Jensen at the Carsten Niebuhr Institute of Near Eastern Studies in Copenhagen for her comments and literary recomme 39 llnstitute of Economics University of Copenhagen 6 Studiestraede Denmark Fax 45 35 32 30 00 email jacobweisdorfeconkudk ndatlon 1455 Copenhagen K Why farm Why give up the 207hour work week and the fun of hunting in order to toil in the sun Why work harder for food less nutritious and a supply more capricious Why invite famine plague pestilence and crowded living conditions Jack R Harlan Crops and Man 1992 1 Introduction The rise of Neolithic agriculture is unquestionably one of the most important events in human cultural history Agriculture or food production as archaeoloe gists call it appeared and spread in many different regions of the world between 10000 and 5000 years ago From the appearance of the human race some 7 million years ago until the introduction of agriculture hunting and gathering was the only food procurement strategy practised The transition to agriculr ture which led to the rise of civilisation as we know it has therefore rightfully been termed the Neolithic Revolution1 e evidence of where and when wild plants and animals were cultivated and domesticated for the rst time is relatively solid and dependable So are the explanations of how hunters and gatherers actually transformed plants and animals into domesticates But one important question is still subject to intense debate What made human societies take the radical step from foraging to farming The purpose of this paper is to acquaint the reader with the main theories that deal with this issue Traditionally farming was considered to be highly desirable Scholars of the history of mankind merely assumed that once humans recognised the impressive gains from cultivation and domestication they would immediately start farmr ing However over the years studies have indicated that early farming was indeed backebreaking timeeconsuming and laboureintensive This motivates the question posed by Jack R Harlan one of the great pioneers of historical ecology in the quotation above Why farm This compelling issue has puzzled the scienti c community for decades Are 39 t 39 t 1 biologists and histq rians have speculated intensively about the factors that eventually tipped the comparative advantage in favour of farming2 There is however widespread agreement that no single explanation so far proposed is entirely satisfactory eg FernandezeArmesto 2001 Harlan 1995 Smith 1995 Economists too have contributed to the understanding of the emergence of agriculture In the 1990s economic growth theorists began to examine the long transition from economic stagnation to sustained economic growth that seems I 1The term neolithic revolution was introduced by the reputable archaeologist V Gordon Childe 1936 Some writers prefer the term agricultural revolution It is important though not to confuse the agricultural revolution in the Stone Age with the agricultural revolution that presumably took place in the centuries prior to the Industrial Revolution 2According to Gebauer and Price 1992 there are at least thirtyieight distinct and come peting explanations of how farming emerge to have occurred with the Industrial Revolution eg Galor and Weil 1999 2000 Goodfriend and McDermott 1995 Hansen and Prescott 2002 Jones 2001 KalemliAOann 2002 Kogel and Prskawetz 2001 Lagerlof 2003 Lucas 2002 Tamura 2002 Weisdorf 2003a Inquiry into the preeindustrial economy encouraged some scholars to suggest that the rise of Neolithic agriculture had a crucial in uence on later economic development For instance7 Galor and Moav 2002 suggest that the shift from the tribal family structure of hunters and gatherers to the household level family organisation of agricultural societies en hanced the manifestation of the potential evolutionary advantage of individuals with a qualityebias that favoured economic growth Lagerlof 2002 who inves tigates the institution of serfdom argues that the birth of farming may have led to an era dominated by slavery and Olsson and Hibbs 2002 show that the timing and the location of the transition to agriculture is strongly correlated with the distribution of wealth among today s countries A small but growing number of papers deal speci cally with the emergence of farming Smith 1975 examines the hypothesis that the extinction of large herding animals due to 7overkill7 by Paleolithic hunters led to the rise of agricule ture North and Thomas 1977 argue that population pressure together with the shift from common to exclusive communal property rights altered man s incentive suf ciently to encourage the application of cultivation and domestie cation techniques Locay 1989 studies the implications of nomadism versus sedentarism in relation to the rise of agriculture More recently Morand 2002 has presented a model that discusses the family s resourceeallocation behaviour in relation to the shift to farming Weisdorf 2003 argues that nonefood speciale ists played a crucial role in the transition to agriculture while Olsson 2003 in a framework that is able to compare a number of archaeological explanations supports the theory that environmental factors along with genetic changes in the species suitable for domestication paved the way for agriculture All of these economic theories about the origins of agriculture are addressed in detail in section 3 The adoption of agriculture in the Stone Age certainly did more in the long run to alter the world than any previous human innovation Today agriculture almost completely dominates the way in which food is produced However when it comes to the share of labour involved in its production agriculture contributes to only a small part of the world s economic activities In the United States for instance which is a net exporter of food only three percent of the labour force is engaged in food production By contrast the most advanced Bronze Age societies had only a few percent engaged in noneagrarian activities fulletime The transfer of labour from food to nonefood activities a transformation that is strongly linked to the process of industrialisation has been of crucial importance to the wealth of nations Welleacquainted with this fact Adam Smith 1937 p 63 noted that when by the improvement and cultivation of land the labour of one family can provide food for two the labour of half the society becomes sufficient to provide food for the hole The other part therefore can be employed in providing other things or in satisfying the other wants and fancies of mankind Probably the most important reason why the Neolithic Revolution is decisive to economic growth is that the food surplus that early farmers were able to generate for the rst time in human history made possible the establishment of a nonefood producing sector eg Diamond 1997 The presence of none food specialistscraftsmen chiefs bureaucrats scientists and priestsiled to countless innovations such as writing metallurgy cities and scienti c principles and eventually paved the way for events such as the Industrial Revolution and for the wealth of the western world Yet the question still remains why take up farming after millions of years of successful foraging Section 2 provides a brief historical survey of the leading hypotheses that have appeared in the archaeological and anthropological literae ture Section 3 offers a more detailed review of the related contributions in the economic literature Finally section 4 concludes 2 The Archaeological Literature Over the years a variety of theories have been proposed that attempt to pin point human motivation and to identify the underlying causes of the emergence of agriculture This section brie y reviews the major hypotheses proposed prie marily in the archaeological and anthropological literature Figure 1 provides a chronological summary of the theories In the eyes of the ancient Greeks agriculture was the last of three stages 7 Flirst came a hunting and gathering stage this slowly led to the domestie cation of animals and a pastoral nomadic stage nally came the invention of agriculture lsaac 1970 p This 7stage7 hypothesis persisted in Europe throughout the Middle Ages But whereas the Greeks had a cyclical view in mind in which man would return to the beginning and start all over again the modernised version postulated an evolutionary sequence from less advanced to more advanced societies in a unielinear manner Figure 1 about here The Hypotheses The view of the nineteenth century scholars had changed very little in come parison to their ancient counterparts To Charles Darwin 1868 who repre sented the prevalent view at the time agriculture was simply the result of an idea that had to be discovered He notes ibid p 32677 that the save age inhabitants of each land having found out by many and hard trials what plants where useful would after a time take the rst step in cultivation by planting them near their usual abodes The next step in cultivation and this would require but little forethought would be to sow the seeds of useful plants ehind this view lies the concept that foragers were always on the verge of starvation and that the quest for food absorbed their time and energy to an extent that prevented them from building more advanced cultures During the rst half of the twentieth century farming was believed to have appeared on the dry plains of Mesopotamia where the early civilisation of the Sumerians arose For at least twenty years from the mid71930s the most popular theory relied entirely on the oasis hypothesis also known as the propinquity or the desiccation theory In the 1930s the end ofthe last ice age was thought to be a period of dryer and warmer conditions In the Near East a dry region to begin with higher temperatures and less precipitation would invite not only humans but also domesticable plants and animals to take refuge in zones that were spared the desiccationoases and river valleys The only successful s0 lution to the competition for food in these circumstances the reasoning went would be for humans to domesticate plants and animals eg Childe 1935 However evidence that emerged during the 1940s and 1950s showed that clie matic changes had been too slow to trigger this kind of behaviour and indicated no crisis with sufficient impact to have predetermined the shift to food produce tion ie Braidwood and Howe 1960 It also turned out that cultural changes in favour of agriculture appeared in regions where no major climatic changes had occurred and under a wide variety of climaticoecological conditions eg Perrot 1962 Finally it was argued that earlier interglacial warm periods had not led to the adoption of agriculture eg Braidwood 1963 As the oasis hypothesis fell into disfavour new ideas emerged In contrast to the oasis hypothesis the new theories suggested that farming resulted from opportunity rather than from need Sauer 1952 for example hypothesised that farming was invented by shermen residing in regions where the abundance of resources afforded them the leisure to undertake plant experimentation In a similar category Braidwood and Howe 1960 suggested that agriculture was the byproduct of leisurely hilledwellers whose habitat was particularly rich in domesticable plants and animals T ese theories referring to regions with a high potentiality for domestication went under the natural habitat or nuclear zone hypothesis Farming at this point was still considered to be highly desirable But in the 1960s this perception was to be turned upside down Evidence started to ap pear which suggested that early agriculture had cost farmers more trouble than it saved Studies of presenteday primitive societies indicated that farming was in fact backebreaking timeeconsuming and laboureintensive eg Lee and De Vore 1968 a view that would nd strong support over the years eg Sahlins 1974 In the soecalled afl luent societies farming was not desirable hunters and gatherers would not embark upon timeecostly methods of food production unless there was good reason to do so Farming was a last resort A picture began to emerge that showed that foraging communities were able to remain in equilibrium with carrying capacity when undisturbed and that new cultural forms would result from noneequilibrium conditions In light of the fact that climatic changes did not seem to have led to crises and that fore agers reluctant to take up farming decided to adopt it nevertheless new ideas once again proposing that agriculture resulted from necessity emerged Binford 1968 looking for conditions that would upset the established equilibrium in favour of increased productivity reasoned that the shift to farming could have been caused by population pressure This inspired Flannery 1969 to suggest that agriculture under the pressure of an increasing population would initially appear in regions were the need for food was most acute not in affluent societies but in marginal areas This became known as the 7marginal zone7 hypothesis Focus rapidly turned further towards the idea that population pressure was the impetus behind the shift to farming In 1977 Cohen presented his hypothesis of global population pressure Inspired by Boserup who argued that agricultural intensi cation would not have occurred without the stimulus of an increasing population eg Boserup 1965 Cohen believed that population growth was a general phenomenon that occurred frequently throughout human history 007 hen 1977 This he reasoned had led to overepopulation on a global scale some 15000 years ago a conclusion that seemed to be in accordance with the fact that at that time the human species departing from Africa had colonized all the inhabitable areas of Europe Asia and the New World The stress brought about by increasing populations and depleted resources meant that people had to expand their subsistence to include less favoured foods of greater abundance This widening variety of wild plants and animals in the diet of hunters and gatherers was wellesupported in archaeological ndings a process which Flannery 1973 referred to as the 7broad spectrum revolution Moreover megafauna extinction prior to the Neolithic Revolution ie the dis appearance of large herding animals such as the mammoth and the woolly rhino was also interpreted as evidence of population pressure and went under the 7overkill7 hypothesis eg Martin 1967 Roberts 1989 The 7population pres sure7 hypothesis accordingly implied that the only successful way that a rapid increasing population was able to deal with declining resources was to embark upon agriculture In all parts of the world where adequate evidence is available archaeologists have found that increasing population densities appeared in relation to the rise of agriculture eg Diamond 1997S Population growth certainly explains why agricultural intensi cation could not have been reversed Once t e population has increased the 7ratchet effect7 makes it impossible to go back to less intensive ways of food procurement However there is a chickeneandeegg issue to this did human societies domesticate plants and animals as an adaptive response to population pressure or did domestication give rise to a larger population Population pressure and depleted resources are bound to eventually cause a decrease in people s dietary intake As dietary stress leads to marks on the human bones and teeth the population pressure hypothesis is testable using methods of physical anthropology Since early hunteregatherers were relatively wellenourished and free of disease the dietary stress brought about by the pres sure of an increasing population among later hunteregatherers would then have marked their skeletons However studies of skeletal remains have failed to show nutritional stress immediately prior to plant domestication In fact in some in 3According to Kremer 1993 the number of humans on the planet 300000 years ago is estimated to be a total of one million At the time of the Neolithic Revolution some 10000 years ago there was an estimated 45 million people At the time of the Roman Empire roughly 8000 years later there were 170 million people worldwide This implies that the average annual population growth rate during those eight millennia was more than 80 times higher than that of the previous three hundred thousand years If we include the two millennia taking us to the presentiday the average annual growth rate over the past 10000 years has been more than 400 times that prior to the Neolithic Revolution stances the health of the last hunteregatherers in a region where agriculture was adopted appears to have been signi cantly better than that of the rst farmers Cohen and Armelagos 1984 Moreover as animal extinction has not been shown to have happened in any of the right places at any of the right times the population pressure hypothesis has further been discredited Fernandeze Armesto 2001 In general the idea of a global food crisis no longer seems convincing Milthen 1996 Due to insuf cient evidence in favour of the hypothesis of demographic pres sure still other explanations began to appear With lacking evidence of dietary stress among foragers it was once again back to the view that farming arose from opportunity In the 1980s contributions started to appear that increas ingly stressed the continuities rather than the contrasts between foraging and farming Concepts like umaneplant symbiosis and peopleeplant interaction were introduced These comprise an unintentional process by which human in tervention selection and replanting ie man s environmental manipulation eventually by accident created strains of plants and animals that depended upon human assistance for their survival and likewise that humans depended upon themselves These theories did not intend to address the question of what made human societies move from a primary dependence on wild foods to a prie mary dependence on cultivated ones They merely put emphasis on the fact that the path to agriculture could have been an evolutionary process build ing on Darwinist elements eg Rindos 1984 and that there seemed to be a positive relationship between the energy input into food procurement and the output per unit of area of exploited land eg Harris 1989 In the 1990s cultural or social theories explaining why communities with stable populations and abundant resources eventually introduced domestication were proposed Hayden 1990 for example envisions the rise of agriculture as resulting from what he calls competitive feasting His idea is that food was regarded as a source of social prestige and that early domestication took place in order to create delicacies for families or individuals who wanted to improve their social status Hayden s competitive feasting hypothesis however has not received much support It appears that early domestication unambiguously consisted of important foods rather than delicacies eg Smith 1995 Milthen 1996 a physiologist who focuses on the capacity of the human brain argues that early humans even though they possessed the knowledge of how plants and animals reproduce simply could not have entertained the idea of domesticating plants and animals Hence in Milthen s view the origins of agriculture 10000 years ago lie not least in the way in which the natural world was thought about by the modern mind In the latter part of the 20th century more detailed environmental studies led some scholars to return to the idea of climatic changes as the impetus to take up farming It has been proposed that as the ice sheets of Europe retreated leading to warmer and moister conditions hunters and gatherers were able to exploit an 4Still other evidence seems to indicate that population growth was the consequence rather than the cause of the adoption of agricultural see eg Brorson 1975 increasing number of productive food plants which increased their population Legge and Rowleyeconwy 1987 But between 10800 and 10300 years ago a global climatic downturn known as the 7Younger Dryas bringing colder and drier environmental conditions and even drought occurred This climatic episode decreased the yield of wild cereals and thus could have motivated the soe called Natu ans communities of hunters and gatherers in the Levant to cultivate wild cereals BareYosef and BelfereCohen 1991 It has also been argued that since evidence indicates that the emergence of sedentary communities in the Near East took place between 13000 and 10000 years ago it was inevitable that the level of food procurement would need to increase because the constraint on population growth imposed by the mobile lifeestyle had been relaxed BareYosef and Belferecohen 20005 ough many of the theories presented in the archaeological and anthropoe logical literature t well on a regional level no single explanation appears to be universally applicable eg FernandezeArmesto 2001 Harlan 1995 Smith 1995 In the section below we turn to examining how the economist motivates the shift from foraging to farming 3 The Economic Literature Despite its tremendous importance in regards to economic growth and the wealth of nations very few attempts have been made by economists to explain the Neolithic Revolution Those that deal with the issue naturally divide into two categories One category consists of three contributions two that came in the 1970s one examining the 7overkill7 hypothesis Smith 1975 and one deale ing with the differences in the nature of property rights in foraging and farming North and Thomas 1977 and one that came in the late 1980s dealing more broadly with the archaeological and anthropological theories from an economic perspective Locay 1989 The other category consists of four recent contributions Olsson and Hibbs 2002 Morand 2002 Olsson 2003 and Weisdorf 2003b As mentioned in the introduction most of these belong to a branch of the growth literature that deals with very longerun economic development and the emergence of 7modern7 economic growth This section reviews both categories of papers For a sumr mary of the economic literature see Figure 2 However before we start the excursion it is useful to look at some expositional similarities of the models Figure 2 about here The Economic Literature Two aspects are shared by nearly all contributions First how agriculture was invented is generally not an issue Regardless of whether this is explicitly stated all papers seem to agree with the view in Olsson and Hibbs 2002 who inspired by Diamond 1997 note p 8 that the rst domesticates probably 5See also Lemmen and Wirtz 2003 for a paper that examines climatic variability in relation to the rise of agriculture appeared near latrines garbage heaps forest paths and cookingeplaces where humans unintentionally had disseminated seeds from their favourite wild grasses growing nearby Second all contributions with the exception of one can be examined within the context of a simple comparative static economic model Figure 3 provides a graphic representation of this model The Figure illustrates the relationship between the size of the labour force and the marginal product of labour Figure 3 about here The Standardised Model When examining the Figure the following should be noted First when the size of the labour force is below L2 man s effort is devoted exclusively to foraging The reason is that as long as L g L2 the marginal product of labour in foraging exceeds that of farming Second for suf ciently low levels of labour ie when the size of the labour force is below L0 labour productivity in foraging is constant when additional labour is added The latter property occurs as long as there is empty land that surplus labour can migrate to6 Third when the size of the labour force is between L0 and L2 additional labour running up against the land constraint is subject to diminishing returns Finally note that once the size of the labour force surpasses L2 additional labour enters agriculture Henceforth a larger labour force increases the share of labour engaged in farming Note also that farming exhibits constant returns to labour which re ects the abundance of land suited to this purpose at that time7 Obviously all contributions that are based on this standardised model start their analysis at a point where the size of the labour force falls between 0 and L2 meaning that to begin with the entire labour force is devoted to foraging activities Assume for the sake of argument that we start with a situation where the labour force has a size of L1 6 L0L2 From here there are three changes that can account for the transition to agriculture a downward shift in the value of the marginal product of labour in foraging this corresponds to a downward movement of the MPngcurve Figure 4 ii an upward shift in the value of the marginal product of labour in farming this corresponds to an upward movement in the MPAecurve Figure 5 and iii an expansion in the size of the labour force Figure 6 In each of the three cases the economy enters a regime of mixed activities8 Note that in terms of this representation Childe s 1935 oasis hypothee siswhere desiccation decreases the wild resources shifts the MPngcurve down ward as illustrated in Figure 4 The theories of Darwin 1868 Sauer 1952 Braidwood and Howe 1960 and to an extent also Harris 1989 and Rindos 6Archaeologists refer to this as an open donor system see Binford 1968 pp 329730 7The illustration would carry the same message with diminishing returns to labour in agriculture as well The requirement would then be that the labour productivity in agriculture declines less than that in huntingigathering when there is an increase in the size of the labour orce a Note that there will be agricultural specialisation only if the shift in the marginal product of labour is so pronounced that labour productivity in farming exceeds labour productivity in foraging for all levels of labour 1984 who suggested that man eventually became better acquainted with their later domesticates in fact Childe also proposed this consists of an upward shift in the MPAecurve as illustrated in Figure 5 Finally the population pres sure theories of Binford 1968 Flannery 1969 and Cohen 1977 are identical to an increase in the size of the labour force as illustrated in Figure 6 Figures 476 about here Comparative Static Since the majority of the contributions can be interpreted in terms of Figure 3 their results are essentially the same That is the three changes mentioned above acting individually or in concert will eventually lead to the rise of agrie culture The purpose of the following is therefore to disentangle each contrie bution s story of the underlying causes that led to the changes that eventually tipped the comparative advantage in favour of farming Excessive Hunting 1n the 1970s when the archaeological community seemed to think that agriculture emerged as a result of necessity Smith 1975 examined the soecalled 7overkill7 hypothesis ie the theory that the extinction of large herding animals some 10000 years ago was due to excessive hunting see page 6 aboveg An important aspect of Smith s 1975 model is that he identi es a list of parameters that re ect the growth rate and value of the biomass upon which hunters subsist Though somewhat more comprehensive than the models re viewed below Smith s framework in its simplest form is nevertheless intere pretable in terms of the standardised model explicated above Smith reaches the expected conclusion that an increase in the size of the labour force increases the share of labour in agriculture This result matches the outcome indicated in Figure 6 Furthermore in Smith s model climatic deterioration adversely afe fects the reproduction rate or the food availability of the hunted biomass which increases the share of labour in agriculture through a decrease in the labour prof ductivity of hunting This corresponds to the illustration in Figures 4 Smith does not discuss the effect of changes in agricultural productivity and therefore has no conclusions related to the illustration in Figure 5 The fact that Smith s model identi es a line of parameters that re ect the growth rate and value of the biomass upon which hunters subsist allows him to reach a number of conclusions that differ from the results in most of the remain ing economic models Most importantly his model shows that improvements in hunting ef ciency has an adverse effect on the growth rate of the hunted bioe mass Since lower biotic growth encourages agricultural effort at the expense of hunting more ef cient hunters may actually increase the share of labour in farming This result which seemingly runs counter to the outcome indicated in QObviously Smith s hypothesis came prior to the evidence that indicated a missing link between animal extinction and the rise of agriculture see page 7 in section 2 10Smith 1992 again touches upon the subject of prehistoric economic development but does not focus on the rise of agriculture rather he deals more broadly with the emergence of humankind with the importance of human capital accumulation and with how we were shaped by economic principles Figure 4 is to be seen in light of the time aspect The shorterun effect of an increase in hunting ef ciency is always an increase in pericapita output of the hunter But when the increased ef ciency lowers the stock of animals it gradue ally decreases the marginal productivity of labour in hunting Improvements in hunting ef ciency therefore eventually correspond to the illustration in Figure Smith s model does not provide any new insights with regards to the causes of Pleistocene extinction nd p 750 However the general task of his paperi comparing freeeaccess hunting to socially optimal resource regulationirelates to an issue that was picked up a few years later by two economic historians namely the question of prehistoric property rights Property Rights In their paper North and Thomas 1977 claim to provide a new explanation for the emergence of agriculture11 Engaged in the eld of economic history their model is not expressed in terms of mathematics but relies entirely on an illustration that is similar to that in Figure 3 on page 9 above In essence the idea in their paper is the following Throughout the Stone Age new technology from time to time improved the level of productivity in foraging as well as latently in farming In the short run as indicated in Figures 4 and 5 the model is therefore inconclusive with regards to whether the occupational outcome favours foraging or farming But due to inherently different property rights associated with the two types of activities we are told the comparative advantage eventually comes out in favour of farming The reasoning runs as follows Common property rights which are assumed to prevail among foragers p0 tentially cause incentive failure Bands of hunters and gatherers have an incene tive to ignore certain costs of their activities which results in overeutilisation of resources causing the productivity among foragers to decline This the authors assert is troublesome to the extent that population pressure prompts bands of hunters and gatherers to compete over resources It is argued nd p 237 that in the world of prehistoric man those bands that attempted to adjust their population to the size of the local resource base would eventually lose out to those bands that encouraged large and increasing populations This is so be cause the larger the population the better its chances of successfully excluding others loccit In contrast to the common property rights prevailing among foragers prime itive farming it is said must have been organised under exclusive communal property rights The authors argue that it is inconceivable that from the very beginning the rst farmers did not exclude outsiders from sharing the fruits of their labour nd p 235 Furthermore loccit the band in principle at least could have exploited its opportunities in agriculture by constraining its members with rules taboos and prohibitions almost as effectively as if private 11 A similar version of their paper is found in North 1981 See also Pryor 2003 concerning the subject of property rights and the rise of agriculture property rights had been established 12 This means that farming has the advantage over foraging in terms of ef e ciency of the property rights Accordingly higher productivity in both sectors in the long run increases the rewards of pursuing farming while those in for aging are dissipated In terms of Figure 3 above the shorterun effect of higher labour productivity corresponds to an initial upward shift in the MPngcurve This attracts labour resources to the foraging sector and hastens the depletion of the stock of wild food held as common property Thus in the long run the MPngcurve gradually shifts downward to a point below its initial position13 Moreover with common property rights there is little incentive for the ace quisition of superior technology and learning In contrast exclusive property rights that reward the owners provide a direct incentive to improve ef ciency and productivity The inherently different property rights therefore eventually tip the comparative advantage in favour of farming whose labour productivity in due course will exceed that of foraging In effect the fundamental force driving the transition to agriculture in the NortheThomas model is the same as that proposed by Binford 1968 Flane nery 1969 and Cohen 1977 namely the persistent pressure of a increasing population see page 5 above Nomadism Locay 1989 presents a technical framework which is also in terpretable in terms of Figure 3 above He deploys a twoeperiod overlapping generations model with children and parents where parents produce children as well as food from both of which they derive utility Food production takes place using either huntingegathering or agriculture Both types of production are subject to constant returns to land and labour but Locay assumes that hunting gathering compared to agriculture uses land relatively more intensively than labour Moreover the costs of producing children measured in units of food are assumed to increase with the household s degree of nomadism see below Within this framework Locay considers the effect on the chosen method of food procurement of the three trivial changes indicated in Figures 476 An interesting re nement in Locay s model which takes the analysis of the shift to farming somewhat further is the inclusion of nomadism Nomadism ie the degree to which the household periodically shifts camp is said to in uence the household s behaviour in a number of ways The disadvantage of nomadism is that it appears to decrease agricultural productivity because in Locay s words ibid p 740 one cannot farm and move around a great deal Moreover nomadism adversely affects the cost of children meaning that for a given level of food output nomad parents come pared with sedentary ones devote relatively few units of food to child rearing in relation to their own food consumption 12The weak link in this theory as pointed out by Persson 1988 p 20 is the implicit assumption that foragers are unable to develop this sort of exclusive claim on territory 13 This conclusion is similar to that in Smith 1975 although Smith s model generates the result in a somewhat more sophisticated manner When nomadism is practised despite these inconvenient features it is be cause it confers some bene t in terms of travel distance The members of a settled community Locay argues must at least occasionally travel long dis tances from the camp so as to reach the various parts of their territory that are exploited An alternative strategy is therefore to engage in nomadism The shorter travel distance from the temporary settlement accordingly means that more time is left for subsistence activities Thus whereas nomadism is assumed to decrease agricultural productivity it simultaneously increases time spent obi taining food goods s wit nomadism the size of the household s land holding is assumed to have a dual effect on parents7 food output On the one hand more land units increase labour productivity when producing food On the other hand for a certain degree of nomadism a larger land holding means that less time is left for producing food due to an increase in travel distance With the inclusion of nomadism and its effects on the costs of children the adoption of agriculture in Locay s model has important implications for both standards of living and the growth rate of the population With regards to Figure 5 Locay shows that an increase in agricultural productivity provokes a decrease in the degree of nomadism which in turn makes parents substitute away from food consumption and towards raising more children Indeed in some cases Locay argues the decrease in the degree of nomadism may increase the relative costs of parental food consumption consequently leaving parents with an overall decrease in utility from adopting agriculture nd p 746747 This conclusion seems to accord well with archaeological evidence With regards to decreasing labour productivity among hunters and gatherers illustrated in Figure 6 Locay like Smith 1975 and North and Thomas 1977 before him refers to overehunting as the impetus to take up agriculture More interesting also with regards to Figure 6 is that Locay presents a scenario where persistent population growth among hunters and gatherers eventually leads to a decrease in the land holdings of the household thus creating popula tion pressure In Locay s model the direct effect of declining land holdings per household is to lower the bene ts from nomadism which induces the household to increase its degree of settlement The effect of declining land holdings on the number of children is therefore ambiguous The less land that is exploited the smaller Locay assumes is the positive effect from nomadism on the time spent in subsistence activities Less land therefore on the one hand decreases parents7 food output This causes both the number of children and parental consumption to decline Meanwhile the lower degree of nomadism at the same time has a positive effect on the number of children since a more sedentary lifestyle reduces their costs Locay therefore arrives at the astonishing conclue sion that if the latter effect dominates the former population pressure actually make parents increase their level of fertility The population pressure accorde ingly becomes more pronounced thus further decreasing the household s land holdings and increasing the degree of sedentariness which favours agriculture over huntingegathering Locay s result of increasing sedentariness among hunters and gatherers prior 13 to the adoption of agriculture ts well with the archaeological evidence eg BareYosef and BelfereCohen 1989 Moreover due to the relatively more in tensive use of land in huntingegathering decreasing land holdings makes agrie culture relatively more attractive Hence a positive population growth rate among hunters and gatherers in Locay s model will thus clearly lead to the rise of agriculture Biogeography From the contributions of the 1970s and 1980s we now turn to the latest economic theories on the origins of agriculture Explaining the dominance of the western world Diamond 1997 argues convincingly that gee ography has affected both the productivity and the prosperity of contemporary nations This inspired Olsson and Hibbs 2002 to study the effect of bioe geography on longerun economic development The term biogeography will be explained below Although they do deal with the rise of Neolithic agriculture Olsson and Hi7 bbs are not so much concerned with why agriculture was adopted They take for granted that once a luent societies of hunters and gatherers discover the capace ity of seeds to germinate an event that probably happened incidentally 7 mlore conscious experimentation was presumably carried out and observing the immediate and impressive gains from such experiments a transition then follows within a relatively short span of time ibid p 8 With this in mind Olsson and Hibbs set out to explore a possible link be tween initial biogeographical endowments such as species of plants and animals suitable for domestication and subsequent economic development The aue thors suggest that biogeographical endowments are crucial to the timing of the transition to agriculture14 Since the surplus generated from agricultural prof duction made possible the establishment of a nonefood producing sector whose members signi cantly promoted development in knowledge and technology eg Diamond 1997 regions that adopted agriculture at an early point in time ac cordingly achieved an initial advantage over less fortunate regions The authors assert that the impact of this lead is still detectable in the contemporary inter national distribution of wealth Constructing a theoretical framework that captures the features suggested above the authors regress the present level of income pericapita in 112 coune tries on measurements of prehistoric geographic conditions and biogeographical endowments They come up with the remarkable result that variation in these variables explains as much as half of the international variation in pericapita income InterFamily Exchange Turning to a purely theoretical paper Morand 2002 develops a model that deals with the longeterm interaction between population and modes of production His framework which is also compatible with the 1 lThis idea is related to Braidwood s nuclear zones see age 5 in section 2 which were s where plants and animals were better suited to domestication than others see also Braidwood 1963 standardised seteup expounded on page 9 extends from early times of hunting gathering to modern times of industrial production inebetween which agricule ture prevails While the shift from agriculture to industry is examined in a large number of recent papers see eg Hansen and Prescott 2002 Lucas 2002 Gae lor and Weil 2000 Kogel and Prskawetz 2001 Lagerlof 2003 Jones 2001 Kalemlieozcan 2002 Tamura 2002 Weisdorf 2003a our interest here solely concerns Morand s explanation of the transition from foraging to farming A central theme in Morand s model is the relationship between the modes of production and the nature of transfers between the members of the household There are three kinds of household members children adults and elders lntere family exchange depends on the mode of production Morand assumes that foraging activities suit only adults who according to a sharing rule obtained as the result of a bargaining process share their food with the elder members of the family In contrast farming allows both adults and elders to participate in the food quest and is why the sharing rule is abandoned once farming is adopted lnterefamily exchange also concerns the relationship between adults and their children Adults can invest in both the quantity and the quality of their chili dren the latter being measured in terms of human capital Since Morand allows for human capital accumulation only among farmers an assumption perhaps subject to some criticism foraging adults care only about the quantity of chili dren However in consideration of the sharing rule and the preceding bargaine ing process children have an ambiguous effect on the wellebeing of the foraging adult More children increases the adult s expected oldeage consumption but at same time more children weaken the adults bargaining power Considering the effect that children have under the different modes of prof duction the adult chooses an optimal level of consumption as well as a level of fertility Next the adult compares the expected utility attained from foraging and farming respectively Assuming that the parameter values are such that the expected utility attained from farming is suf ciently low to begin with for aging becomes the chosen food procurement method That is we are at L L1 in Figure 3 on page 9 above From here the changes needed to tip the balance in favour of farming are considered The key parameter in uencing the behaviour of foragers Morand argues is the availability of wild resources In terms of Figure 3 the availability of wild resources in uences the position of the MPngcurve Wild resources may be adversely affected by changes in environmental conditions To begin with Morand assumes that foragers respond to such changes in three ways by in creasing their mobility by broadening their diet and by decreasing their fere tility or if possible the costs of child rearing15 However at the time when agriculture emerged these means presumably have all been used Morand ene visions the following causation which is in line with the proposals in the are chaeological literature see section 2 First increased climatic variation during 15In effect one response may affect the other increasing mobility for instance due to the immobility of pregnant and lactating women is likely to in uence the costs of child rearing ibidp 11 the late Pleistocene caused hunters and gatherers to adopt a broader diet the 7broad spectrum revolution7 mentioned on page 6 above Second during the early Holocene the warmer trend of the Pleistocene that caused populations of hunters and gatherers to expand was interrupted by a climatic downturn the 7Younger Dryas7 mentioned on page 8 which brought drier and cooler weather This limited the availability of wild resources and prompted hunteregatherers to contract to a few resourceerich watering holes the 7oasis7 hypothesis mentioned on page 4 above The concentration ofpeople in these oases combined with the fact that mobility was no longer an option and that the broadening of diets had already taken place left hunters and gatherers with the one possibility taking up farming In addition and in accordance with the 7humaneplant symbiosis7 see page 7 above Morand mentions that the sedentariness in the small oases ibid p 13 generated a change in the interaction between people plants and animals that gradually increased the expected returns or yields of agricultural produce tion This in Morand s model translates into an increase in utility attained from farming shifting the MPAecurve in Figure 3 upward Whereas the latter causation suggests that agriculture arose from opportunity the former in the paragraph above indicates that it resulted from necessity Morand s framework adds to the list of parameters that can be used to explain the rise of agriculture By including the probability of surviving into oldeage Morand is able to examine the death risk of different types of forage ing activities eg big game hunting versus tuber gathering Furthermore in orand s mo el war against competing groups in areas subject to population pressure a theme also important in the NortheThomas model above is likely to adversely affect the probability of surviving into oldeage NonFood Specialists A model that in contrast to Morand s deals exclue sively with the rise of agriculture is presented by Weisdorf 2003b In this setup there is no boundary distinction between foraging and farming T e model is therefore not interpretable in terms of the standardised framework ile lustrated in Figure 3 Instead Weisdorf proposes a ladder of technical steps ranging from foraging to farming where each step implies a higher availability of food per unit of land but simultaneously implies an increase in the amount of learning time required in order to obtain it A novel feature in Weisdorf s model is the inclusion of leisure time in the individual s preference function With individuals deriving utility from leisure the adoption of methods that increase the availability of food per unit of land thus decreasing the individual s time spent obtaining food at rst appears to be attractive However since such methods also require more time spent learning how to use them the adoption of methods that increase the output per unit of land turns out to have an ambiguous effect on an individual s leisure time At low levels of technology the timeesaving effect on food procurement oute weighs the timeecostly learning effect Thus as new methods gradually appear which in the Stone Age is likely to have happened incidentally the members of the community can increase their leisure time by putting these into practice However a level of technology is eventually reached at which the learning time becomes so pronounced that the adoption of more productive methods would cause an unequivocal decrease in the individual s leisure time This causes a reluctance towards the adoption of timeeintensive food procurement methods which are implicitly identi ed as being agricultural As a result methods that would increase the availability of food per unit of land though accessible may not be put into practise That is invention and innovation do not necessarily go hand in hand Like North and Thomas 1977 Weisdorf claims to provide a new explana tion for the emergence of agriculture It is argued that since farming appears to be more timeecostly than foraging agricultural methods are not adopted unless the individual is willing to accept the decline in his leisure that is associated with their adoption Claiming that archaeologists and anthropologists tend to underrate the universally observable fact that individuals are known to trade off leisure for nonefood goods the main argument in Weisdorf s paper is that the adoption of agriculture implies the presence of nonefood specialists16 The rea son is that nonefood specialists through their goods production are capable of compensating the loss of leisure of those individuals who engage in agriculture In effect a division of the community s labour force between food and nonefood activities may thus aid the adoption of agriculture Weisdorf then introduces a set of 7redistribution costs It is argued that societies that divide their labour force between food and nonefood activities are subject to costs of collecting and redistributing goods and foodstuffs Since division of labour is found only in societies that practise methods of farming and not among bands of hunters and gatherers only farming communities defray the costs of redistribution It is then shown that the redistribution costs postpone the adoption of farming techniques for a period of time during which there is technical stagnation That is methods of foraging are practised despite the fact that more productive farming methods are available a result that is in accordance with the observation of a time lag between the invention and the innovation of agriculture eg Harlan 1995 Milthen 1996 The adoption of agriculture does not take place until the community gains access to methods that are suf ciently productive to cover both the costs of redistribution and the individual s compensation for his loss of leisure Once sufficiently productive methods eventually become available there is a discone tinues jump in the level of the applied technology a jump which is identi ed as a 7Neolithic revolution In order to show that agriculture could have been adopted independently of demographic variations Weisdorf assumes a constant population Unfortue nately this makes the model incapable of explaining the vast increase in the population density that seems to accompany the transition to agriculture see page 6 above 15 Nonifood goods in Weisdorf s model are synonymous with handicraft consumption goods such as housing clothing cooking tools pottery or more luxurious goods such as pearls an other kinds of ornaments In a more broad sense it can also include protection and salvation 17 Demographic Growth A model that deals speci cally with demographic changes in relation to the rise of agriculture is found in Olsson 2003 who like Locay 1989 sets out to compare a number of archaeological and anthropologe ical explanations concerning the emergence of agriculture Here we are back to the boundary distinction between foraging and farming and Olsson s frame work is therefore interpretable in terms of the standardised model in Figure 3 on page 9 above In Olsson s model the individual s only concern is to allocate his labour between foraging and farming in an optimal manner In optimum a condition which Olsson refers to as the 7agricultural transition condition7 ATC individ uals allocate their labour such that the marginal product of labour in farming equals that in foraging Initially though parameter values are chosen such that the marginal product of foraging in optimum exceeds that of farming ie such that the ATC is not ful lled In terms of Figure 3 this corresponds to a situation where L L1 Olsson s model introduces a number of new features compared to what we have seen above One aspect concerns the growth rate of the population among foragers and farmers respectively Olsson assumes that individuals involved in foraging are subject to 7Malthusian7 population growth That is population growth is possible only when labour productivity progresses Since labour pro ductivity in both sectors responds only to changes in the natural environment and possibly to time an increase in the forager s family is more or less left to chance In contrast Olsson identi es the population growth among agriculture ists as 7Boserupian ue to their sedentary lifestyle which reduces the costs of raising children and to the fact that land for the purpose of agriculture was not constrained at the time individuals involved in farming are assumed to increase the size of their families regardless of whether or not productivity improvements appear ie in an exogenous manner In order to reach an interior solution where both foraging and farming are practised the ATC needs to be ful lled ln Olsson s model the four underlying factors that have the potential to create the three changes illustrated in Figures 46 are environmental demographic cultural and external Environmental and demographic changes represent the traditional factors that are expected to affect the marginal product of labour and the size of the labour force respectively Cultural and external changes are added in order to capture the themes of some of the alternative explanations of the origins of agriculture Cultural changes are embodied in a parameter which is included in the indie vidual s preference function The size of this parameter measures the degree to which agriculture is preferred or opposed Such preferences Olsson mentions could be founded for instance in religious beliefs nd p 14 In terms of the illustration in Figure 3 changes in this cultural parameter shift the MFAecurve upward in the case of 7preferred or downward in the case of 7opposed In consequence Olsson s model indicates that cultural changes alone are capable 17Olsson does acknowledge however that the population growth among agriculturalists will eventually return to that of the Malthusian type once the agricultural economy becomes so widespread that it runs up against the land constrain 18 of causing the transition to agriculture External changes in accordance with the 7peopleeplant interaction7 hypoth esis see page 7 may appear in terms of unconscious or incidental positive externalities arising from human intervention with plants and animals Such changes lead for example to genetic alterations that improve the species7 suite ability for domestication This in Olsson s model translates into an increase in labour productivity in farming ie an upward movement in the MPAecurve in Figure 3 as illustrated in Figure 5 An important re nement in Olsson s model compared with others is that once the ATO for one reason or another is ful lled the labour force is bound to increase The reason is that individuals who embark upon farming are subject to Boserupian rather than Malthusian growth Thus once farming has been introduced population growth gradually increases the share of labour involved in agricultural activities This in Olsson s model has important implications with regards to the standards of living in the aftermath of the transition to agriculture Olsson considers a community that shares its total food production equally among its members From having the entire labour force engaged in foraging a sudden increase in agricultural labour productivity causing the ATC to be ful lled immediately increasing standards of living of the community members This is illustrated in Figure 7 where the area B is the additional total output that the community shares when agriculture is adopted Figure 7 about here Olsson s 2003 Result However once agriculture is adopted standards of living may eventually decline as the size of the community s population gradually increases This is the case when foraging workers whose total number is not in uenced by the increase in the size of the labour force are more productive than those in farming The extra output that the foragers in comparison to farmers are capable of generating the area marked A in Figure 7 when equally shared reduces into less and less goods per individual the more individuals there are to share it Since there are no 7positive checks7 among farmers ie growth in the size of the farming household is not affected by the household s consumption level standards of living may eventually fall below those that prevailed prior to the adoption of agriculture In terms of Figure 7 this is the case if the average mar ginal product of labour which asymptotically approaches the marginal product of farming labour MPA when L increases is smaller than the average pro ductivity of the L1 workers prior to the upward shift in MPA ie the area ACD Olsson s population dynamics thus enable him to provide an answer to the puzzling question of why still more people went into agriculture despite the fact that it invoked a decrease in standards of living In the nal part of his paper Olsson confronts his model with evidence from one of the earliest farming sites the Jordan Valley He concludes that environmental factors along with genetic changes in the species suitable for domestication at least for this speci c region were factors most likely to have paved the way for agriculture 4 Concluding Remarks The purpose of this paper was to acquaint the reader with the main theories and evidence on the origins of agriculture Section 2 provided a brief historical survey of the leading hypotheses that have appeared in the archaeological and anthropological literature while Section 3 offered a more detailed review of the related contributions in the economic literature There seems to be widespread agreement that no single explanation so far proposed is entirely satisfactory eg FernandleArmesto 2001 Harlan 1995 Smith 1995 However for the theorist interested in motivating the transition from foraging to farming new evidence is constantly appearing For instance there is evidence that indicates that sedentariness occurred prior to and indepene dent of the transition to agriculture BareYosef and BelfereCohen 1989 2000 and that tools for agricultural production were available to the foragers who eventually took up farming BareYosef and Kislev 1989 Evidence also sug gests that agriculture appeared in relatively complex a luent societies where a wide variety of foods were available eg BareYosef and Kislev 1989 Price and Brown 1985 Smith 1995 and that these societies were circumscribed by other societies whose environmental zones were poorer in resources Smith 1995 It also appears that the egalitarian nature of foraging societies was re placed by hierarchical social structures among agriculturalists eg Diamond 1997 FernandezeArmesto 2000 Price 1995 and that bands of hunters and gatherers had a communal organisational structure whereas household level organisation prevailed among farmers eg Gebauer and Price 1992 References 1 E E BAR YOSEF 0 AND A BELFER COHEN 1989 The Origins of Sedene tism and Farming Communities in the Levan Journal of World Prehise tory 3 pp 447497 BAR YOSEF 0 AND A BELFER COHEN 1991 An Early Neolithic Village Site in the Jordan Vally Journal of Field Archaeology 18 pp 405424 BAR YOSEF 0 AND A BELFER COHEN 2000 Early Sedentism in the Near East in Life in Neolithic Farming Communities Social Orgae nization Identity and Di erentiation edited by 1 Kuijt Kluwer Acade emicPlenum Publishers New York pp 19737 BAR YOSEF 0 AND ME KISLEV 1989 Early Farming Communie ties in the Jordan Valley in Foraging and Farming The Evolution of Plant Exploitation edited by DR Harris and CC Hillman Unwin Hyman Lon don pp 632642 BENDER B 1975 Farming in Prehistory From HuntereCatherer to FoodeProducer St Martin s Press New York BINFORD LR 1968 PostePleistocene Adaptation in New Perspece tiues in Archaeology edited by SR Binford and LR Binford Aldine Chicago pp 313341 BOSERUP E 1965 The Conditions of Agricultural Growth Earthscan London BRAIDWOOD RJ 1963 Prehistoric Men University of Chicago Press Chicago BRAIDWOOD RJ AND B HOWE 1960 Prehistoric Investigations in Iraqi Kurdistan University of Chicago Press Chicago BRORSON E 1975 The Earliest Farming Demography as Cause and Consequence in Population Ecology and Social Euolution edited by S Polger Mouton The Hague pp 53778 CHILDE VG 1935 New Light on the Most Ancient East Routledge and Kegan Paul London CHILDE VG 1936 Man Makes Himself Watts and Co London COHEN MN 1977 The Food Crises in Prehistory Ouerpopulation and the Origins of Agriculture Yale University Press New Haven COHEN MN AND G ARMELAGOS 1984 Paleopathology at the Orie gins of Agriculture in Paleopathology at the Origins of Agriculture edited by M Cohen and G Armelagos Academic Press Orlando Florida pp 585602 l15l l16l DARWIN C 1868 The Variation of Animals and Plants Under Domes tication Appelton New York volume 1 DIAMOND J 1997 Guns Germs and Steel The Fates of Human So cieties WW Norton New York FERNANDEZ ARMESTO F 2000 Civilizations Macmillan London FERNANDEZ ARMESTO F 2001 Food A History Macmillan London FLANNERY KV 1969 Origins and Ecological Effects of Early Domes tication in Iran and the Near East in The Domestication and Exploitation of Plants and Animals edited by PJ Ucko and GW Dimbleby London Duchworth pp 73100 FLANNERY KV 1973 The Origins of Agriculture Annual Review of Anthropology 2 pp 271310 GALOR 0 AND O MOAV 2002 Natural Selection and the Origin of Economic Growth Quarterly Journal of Economics 117 pp1133e1191 GALOR 0 AND DN WEIL 1999 From Malthusian Stagnation to Modern Growth American Economic Review 89 pp 150154 GALOR 0 AND DN WEIL 2000 Population Technology and Growth From 39 m 39 to t e D 39 ansition and Beyond American Economic Review 90 pp 806828 GEBAUER AB AND TD PRICE 1992 Foragers to Farmers An Introduction in The Transition to Agriculture in Prehistory edited by AB Gebauer and TD Price Prehistory Press Madison Wisconsin pp 1710 GOODFRIEND M AND MCDERMOTT J 1995 Early Development American Economic Review 85 pp 116133 HANSEN GD AND E PRESCOTT 2002 Malthus to Solow American Economic Review 92 pp 120571217 HARLAN JR 1992 Crops and Man American Society of Agronomy Maddison Wisconsin HARLAN JR 1995 The Living Fields Our Agricultural Heritage Cambridge University Press Cambridge HARRIS DR 1989 An Evolutionary Continuum of PeopleePlant lne teraction in Foraging and Farming The Evolution of Plant Exploitation edited by DR Harris and CC Hillman Unwin Hyman London pp 11726 HAYDEN B 1990 Nimrods Piscators Pluckers and Planters The Emergence of Food Production Journal of Anthropological Research 9 pp 31769 31 ISAAC E 1970 Geography of Domestication PrenticeeHall London 32 JONES C1 2001 Was an Industrial Revolution Inevitable Economic Growth Over the Very Long Run Advances in Macroeconomics 1 pp 1743 33 KALEMLI OZCAN S 2002 Does the Mortality Decline Promote Ecoe nomic Growth Journal of Economic Growth 7 p 411439 4 KOGEL T AND A PRSKAWETZ 2001 Agricultural Productivity Growth and Escape from the Malthusian Trap Journal of Economic Growth 6 pp 337357 35 KREMER M 1993 Population Growth and Technological Changes One Million BC to 1990 Quarterly Journal of Economics 108 pp 6817 716 36 LAGERLOF N P 2002 The Roads to and from Serfdom Concordia University mimeo 37 LAGERLOF N P 2003 From Malthus to Modern Growth Can Epie demics Explain the Three Regimes International Economic Review 44 pp 753777 38 LEE RB AND 1 DEVORE 1968 Man the Hunter Aldine Chicago 39 LEGGE AJ AND PA ROWLEY CONWY 1987 Gazelle killing in Stone Age Syria Scienti c American 2752 pp 7683 0 LEMMEN C AND KW WIRTZ 2003 A Global Dynamic Model for the Neolithic Transition Climatic Change 10 pp 1735 1 LOCAY L 1989 From Hunting and Gathering to Agriculture Eco nomic Development and Cultural Change 37 pp 7377756 2 LUCAS RE 2002 Lectures on Economic Growth Harvard University Press Cambridge 3 MARTIN PS 1967 Prehistoric Overkill in Pleistocene Extinctions edited by PS Martin and HE Wright Yale University Press New Haven pp 757120 4 MILTHEN S 1996 The Prehistory of the Mind A Search for the Origins of Art Religion and Science Thames and Hudson London 45 MORAND OF 2002 Evolution Through Revolutions Growing Pope ulations and Changes in Modes of Production University of Connecticut mimeo 46 NORTH DC 1981 Structure and Change in Economic History WW Norton New York l4 71 NORTH DC AND RP THOMAS 1977 The First Economic Revolue tion Economic History Review 30 pp 229241 OLSSON O 2003 The Rise of Neolithic Agriculture University of Goteborg mimeo OLSSON 0 AND D HIBBS 2002 Biogeography and LongeRun ECd nomic Development Eumean Economic Review forthcoming PERROT J 1962 PalestineeSyriaeCilicia in Courses Toward Urban Life edited by RJ Braidwood and GR Willey Aldine Publishing Come pany Chicago PERSSON KG 1988 PreeIndustrial Economic Growth Social Organie sation and Technological Progress in Europe Basil Blackwell Oxford PRICE TD 1995 Social lnequality at the Origins of Agriculture in Foundations of Social Inequality edited by GM Feinman and TD Price Plenum Press London pp 129151 PRICE TD AND JA BROWN 1985 Prehistoric HuntereGatherers The Emergence of Food Production Academic Press New York PRYOR FL 2003 Economic Systems of Foragers Swarthmore Col lege mimeo REDMAN CL 1978 The Rise of Civilization From Early Farmers to Urban Society in the Ancient Near East WH Freeman and Company San Francisco RINDOS D 1984 The Origins of Agriculture An Evolutionary Perspece tive Academic Press London ROBERTS N 1989 The Holocene An Environmental History Basil Blackwell Oxford SAHLINS M 1974 Stone Age Economics Aldine Chicago SAUER CO 1952 Agricultural Origin and Dispersal American Geoe graphical Society New York SMITH A 1937 An Inquiry into the Nature and Causes of the Wealth of Nations W Strahan and T Cadell 1776 reprinted Modern Library New York SMITH BD 1995 The Emergence of Agriculture Scienti c American Library New York SMITH VL 1975 The Primitive Hunter Culture Pleistocene Extince tion and the Rise of Agriculture Journal of Political Economy 83 pp 7277755 63 SMITH VL 1992 Economic Principles in the Emergence of Hue mankind Economic Inquiry 30 pp 1713 64 TAMURA R 2002 Human Capital and the Switch from Agriculture to Industry Journal of Economic Dynamics and Control 27 pp 207242 65 WEISDORF JL 2003a From Stagnation to Growth Revisiting Three Historical Regimes Journal of Population Economics forthcoming 66 WEISDORF JL 2003b Stone Age Economics The Origins of Agrie culture and the Emergence of NoneFoocl Specialists Discussion Paper No 03734 University of Copenhagen The Period 719305 1930s19505 1960s 1960s1980s 1980519903 199052000s The H esis The Stage hypothesis The Oasis hypothesis The Natural Habitat Nuclear Zone39 hypothesis The Marginal Zone hypothesis The Population Pressure hypothesis The Overkill hypothesis The PeoplePlarrt Interaction hypothesis The HumanPlant Symbiosis hypothesis The Competitive Feasting hypothesis The Younger Dryas hypothesis Its main idea Agriculture was the nal stage in a unilinear development path The shirt was motived by chan s in environmental conditions Abundance of leisure led to plant experimentation The shi was generated by population pressure in infertile zones The shi was generated by population pressure on a global scale Animal extinction 39 dicated the presence of a food crisis The shi resulted om unintentional human behaviourmanupulations Land exploitation and energy input are strongly correlated The rst domestications were delicacies The shirt was motived by changes in environmental conditions Figure 1 The Hypotheses The Reason for lem39 g it External pressure was believed to have generated the transition Climatic changes too slow earlier interglacial periods did not result in the adoption of agriculture Evidence suggested that farming arose out of necessity rather than opportunity The rst domestications took place in resourceabundant societies Skeletal evidence did not indicate a food crisis Animal extinction and agriculture did not occur together neither geographically nor chronologically Still under consideration Still under consideration The rst domestications ere important foods Still under consideration M The x Determinant Animal extinction Property rights Nomadism Biogeography hirerfamily exchange Nonfood specialist Population growth The Main Await Excessive hunting avoured agriculture Common property rights among foragers cause incentive failure whereas exclusive communal Property rights among farmers do not Population pressure made foragers more settled which favoured farming Biogeographic endowments were crucial to e timing of the transition to agriculture Changes in external forces determined the modes of production and the nature of transfers between household members The emergence of nonfood specialist was crucial to the adoption of labourcostly agricultural methods Higher population growth among farmers relative to foragers pushed people into agriculture Figure 2 The Economic Literature Smith 1975 Norm andThomas I977 Locay 1989 0155011 and Ilibbs 2002 Morand 2002 Weisdorf 2003 Olsson 2003 labour productivity labour f0 rce Figure 3 The standardised Model labour productivity Figure 4 Lower Productivity in HuntingeGathering productivity labour to rce Figure 5 Higher Productivity in Agriculture productivity labour La L1 L2 LI force Figure 6 A Larger Labour Force labour productivity labour fa rce Figure 7 Olsson s 2003 Result Early Mechanization Q AG 101 AGRICULTURE amp THE MODERN WORLD ll 9 0 Agriculture requires TOOLS 0 Simple Digging Stick first tool used 0 Complex Modern Combine complex machinery used today 0 With the cultivation of grains came the development of the world s most important agricultural tool THE PLOW Muscle Power 9 Mechanization Digging Stick 2 15t o Added handles fer pullingpushing through soil 0 Only worked in light soil Then shod with Iron pulled by Oxen 0 Wheels addil 0 Wooden Moldboard added Plow 9 Modern Plow Disk and Rotary Plow igging Sticks from Africa Notice sharpened edge This made is easier to carve through soil Edges often burned to increase hardness Q wm g m Oxen used 0 Animals were later used to assist with ag labor There were livestock specifically raised to pull plows not to be eaten necessarily M dbward m Mm 01M 3 A it t I quot v39 y w J Fv 39 MOUrd The PLOW o httD1wwwhjstorvcomshowsmodern marvelsVideosfarm plows kickuDdirtfarm lQWSkiCku dirt Planting Mechanization o Broadcast a field world 1700 Britain 0 Jethro Tull o Allowed For most of history seeds scattered by hand 0 Still done in many parts of the o Disadvantage not organized Invented the seed drill allowed seeds to fall into plowed soil in straight lines weeding between crop rows throwing seed into for hoeing and Early Harvesting 0 Early harvesting done by hand 0 Still done in SE Asia 0 Cut stalks by hand 0 Detach grain by beating stalks against stones or trample them on threshing oors 0 Thrown into the air to allow wind to separate the grain from the chaff 31 39 0 150 years ago 1St mechanical grain reaper Machines to do both harvesting and threshing appeared in N America and Europe after 1850 Reaping and Threshing combined into one process with the invention of The COMBINE o Introduced after WWII 1945 J rquot w i y39 4 Kan 33 l 0 Heavy machines needed more than humans to power 0 Oxen and Water Buffalo domesticated and used early in history to pull agricultural equipment 0 Horses domesticated after Used from the Middle ages to early 20th century as primary provider of power for European based Ag systems l 1 rm if El Horses replaced by machines after the introduction of the Steam Engine in mid1800 s Machines were too heavy and hard to use 0 Gave way to internalcombustion engine 0 Tractor developed in the US in the 1890 s led to the development of specialty machines 0 http wwwhistorvcomshowsmodern marvels videosfarmplowskickupdirtmodern farmtractorsDrovidecomforts fffigmt 0 Specialist machines 0 Separate peas from pods 0 Pick cotton 0 Pick tomatoes 0 Spray crops 0 Bale hay 0 Milk cows 0 All technoloay led to a reduced need for farm labor 0 Today computerized technology heavily used in Ag Combine GPS and other technologies inside cab of combine THE AGRICULTURAL FOUNDATIONS OF CIVILIZATION Thomas Weasel Thomas Wessel is Professor of History Montana State University His publications on agriculture include Agriculture in the Great Plains 18761930 and Great Plains Renaissance Essays on Agricultural Development in the Great Plains 19201950 JH Fabre once lamented quotHistory celebrates the battlefields wherein we meet our death but scorns to speak of the plowed fields whereby we thrive It knows the names of the King39s bastards but cannot tell us the origin of wheat This is the wayrof Human follyquot Jacob Molschott reduced all human under standing to the simple phrase quotDer Mensch ist was er isstquot Mankind is what he eats Although both gentlemen were perhaps overstating the case they were and remain surprisingly close to the mark We still do not know the origins of wheat but we might be able to say something about the impact of wheat on the development of western civilization On the other hand we do have from the work of Paul Mangelsdorf a pretty good idea of the origins of maize The fact that wheat and barley became the staple crops of the Near East and corn and beans the staple crops of the New World had a profound effect on the development of civilization in those two areas of the world It is difficult to state from the archaeological evidence just when gathering of wild wheat leaped to settled cultivation of 39wheat fields but probably no sooner than 45000 BC The earliest wheat and barley varieties were as primitive as the societies that cultivated them Einkorn a single seed wheat and emmer a two seed wheat dominated the early cultivation Soon some hybrids of 46 grains usually called breadwheat made its appearance but the principal difficulty of cultivation remained With the cultivation of small grains the former huntinggathering societies made a significant step backward in nutrition The human body is an extremely efficient consumer of food stuffs but is a poor manufacturer of the basic ingredientsnecessary to sustain life Most of the vitamins trace minerals and particularly the amino acids necessary to build body protein must come already prepackaged in the food stuffs consumed There are approxi mately 20 amino acids in nature 10 of which are quotessentialquot to human growth None are manufactured in the process of digestion but are indeed broken out of the food stuffs in the digestion cycle So long as societies depended on hunting and the consumption of red meat most of the necessary amino acids were available in sufficient quantity The move to small grain culture was another matter Of the ten essential amino acids wheat andor barley provide sufficient quantites of only one or two leucine and phenylalanine Small grains are very low in lysine and wheat contains virtually no trypto phane In order to gain the missing amino acids early farmers had to continue to hunt or find an alternative means of providing red meat from quotdomesticatedquot animals Herding first goats milk also provides the missing amino acids and then cattle was paramount to basic survival in any meaningful manner The problem was that domesticated animals also ate the small grains Consequently early society tended to divide its labor at nearly the same time between cultivation and herdsmen A biotic relationship developed between the two groups The meeting grounds for the exchange of food stuffs were called cities It is likely not simply a co incidence that Neolithic man is credited with the beginnings of settled agriculture and also the building of the first towns Jericho one of the oldest towns in the Middle East was first sustained by hunting then abandoned only to return as the center 10 Agriculture and Human Values Spring I984 of agricultural development Ignoidentally only as an agricultural settlement did the residents of Jericho find it necessary to build the walls that Joshua was so contemptuous of While solving their problem of an appropriate amino acid balance by introducing animal husbandry into the agricultural mix early Near Eastern societies had additional problems with small grain agriculture Small grains are a timely crop It must be planted more or less quoton timequot and more critically it must be harvested quoton timequot If left in the field too long it39s lost from the harvest A society successfully engaged in small grain agriculture has to develop a relatively accurate sense of time and impose either upon itself or accept the imposition from outside the requisite discipline and order to make the system work Also small grain agriculture is particularly susceptible to brigandage Unlike hunting which can be done continuously and the product consumed immediately small grains are harvested at a particular time and stored for future use Protection of the settlement then such as the walls of Jericho and the creation of an army for that purpose is not an unlikely occurrence The subsequent division of society into taskrelated parts has all kinds of implications Let me suggest only two For one the family organization that dominated early societal organization is likely to expand to include the whole of the community with some kind of military leadership Monarchs in the Middle East from the earliest dates known are remembered as warriors above all else Wise Joshua may have been but he also Once it was discovered that society could pro duce those who worked the elds and those who contemplated and acted as leaders it was not likely to change carried a sword Once it was discovered that society could produce those who worked the fields and those who contemplated and acted as leaders it was not likely to change Indeed leaders were more likely to find all kinds of ways to maintain their exaulted position and retain the work discipline of the incipient farmers One way to do so other than simply by the force of arms was to raise work in the field toa virtue in itself Priestly classes might aid in convincing the majority of the need to work to feed the nobility In any event such divisions of quotlaborquot occur in Near Eastern society in rapid order once agriculture is firmly established Small grains however pose an additional problem for society The return for seed sown is quite low In the neolithic period and centuries thereafter the yield was probably no better than 46 to one To increase population in any significant way substantially more land had to be brought under cultivation occasioning more difficulty in protecting it and occasioning more military for protection and for use in stealing from those nearby One might question the causal relationships briefly outlined here but the basic problems of small grain agriculture are simply given I am not suggesting that early man was a molecular biologist Of course they had no formal knowledge of nutrition but the manifestations of dietary deficiency are so gross that it would not take long for mankind to figure out who survived better and who worse Those with access to both meat and bread were clearly the winners To illustrate this point let me make a substantial leap forward in time to an era where our knowledge of events is on firmer ground We all tell our students of the black death of the 14th and 15th centuries brought to Europe by black rats with devastating effect When we look at the victims of the black death the proportion of peasant deaths to deaths among the better off is clear Most of Europe39s peasantry sustained themselves on a diet that consisted of little more than barley soup and beer Beer by the way has more nutritional value than barley soup The essential amino acids supplemented by red meat was largely absent from peasant diets but not of those who rule It may be that the plague was so devastating in part because Europe had a population that suffered from fundamental malnutrition It might also be more than coincidental that the time of the black death corresponded with the change from barleybased to wheatbased agri culture an increase in cattle levels and a substantial increase in red meat available to the general population Maybe when the king protected his deer amifi lfor his own use he knew somed ng In any event the Dutch l storimiBH Slicker Van Bath has mmh a persuasive argument for malnutrition as a factor in the black death In sununal39y it is pcgtssiJ31e to postulate a given set of cultural and m itical parameters for western civilizaton based on the fundamental cmwiderations of small grain agrim jure and the fact that wheat contains little or no lysine Settled agriculture of course did not occur just in the Near East It began at roughly the same time in the New World during the Neolthic period Evidence of the existence of quotsingle pod cornquot has been found in strata dated 8000 BC Undoubtedly however true sedentary life based on field mmp3kms not begin until sometime about 34000 BC Details about the agriculture of the central valley of Mmdco ulthe Neolithic period is virtually unknown Archaeological work in this region began only in the 189039s and only intermittently to the present day Nevertheless it is possible to saysmm things with reasonable catahmy Maize was clearly the principal crop raised by New World farmers The first point to make about maize is that it cannot grow in its common form unless cultivated Maize rmmrts to a simple grass if not cultivated Botanists archaeologists and historians have debated for years abOut the origin of maize Two common nmizeqelated grasses Teosinte and hipsacum seemed to be the best candidates as the precursor of modern COHL Biologists however have pointed out that both are perennials and possess what amounts to a genetic roadblock to the develpment of the modern maize annual Paul Mangelsdorf inthelast decade worked out a ms ble origin sequence He postulated that a cross of two other primitive maize relatives one common to the Central Valley of Mexico and the other common to the lower elevations of Peru produced a primitive single pod cmm that eliminated the genetic roam cck If further crosses took place first with tripsacum and then teosinte the product would be modern corn as it existed in the neolithic period Wessel The Social Sciences 11 Probably something like the scheme mggeMEd by Mangelsdorf did take place It suggests that communication between people in the Neolithic New World was at a higher level than once ampmposed The importance of the production of maize was the return the crop provided for seed planted While Neolithic farmers in the Near East could expect a return of about 4 to l vaWm d farmers regularly could expect a return of 40 to l Maize however has much the same nutritional deficiencies as wheat It contains large quantities of only one of the essential amino acids and only moderate quantities of the rest When consumed in combination with other and probably evaOlder crops lima beans and pumpkins using those two in a generic sense all of the essential amino acids are provided in sufficient quantities to sustain life at a healthy level Beans and squash pumpkins etc have a high level of return for seed planted The need to introduce animal husbandry as a nutritional supplement is simply absent in the New World Corn beans and other similar crops have an additional characteristic worth noting Where wheat is a very timely amp New World crops are almost timeless That is if a farmer failed to harvest his corn and beans in the fall it was quite safe to leave them for harvest at a later time Corn and beans come as close to being indestructable as vegetable matter gets Where Old World agriculture placed a premium on discipline order mm a sense of time New World agriculture had few imperatives at all except the need to cultivate Old World agriculture virtually was without Cultivation once the seed was planted Wheat was scattered across the field and allowed to grow along with whatever else was in the field Indeed the need to expand Old World agriculture in the absence of a means to separate wheat from its competitors weeds may have led to improvements in seed bed preparation the use of plows and the consequent additional need for animals Corn was planted in hills where only a crude hoe was necessary Because of the enormous return for corn increases in production could be made relatively easily with additional hiUs Sustaining a fairly large pom ation increase did not take anywhere near the additional land or labor that a similar increase would demand in the Near East It has been 12 Agriculture and Human Values Spring I984 estimated that in the Central Valley of Mexico some areas of cultivation could sustain the yearly needs of the population at the rate of 25 people to an acre Corn beans and squash could be planted literally together rather than in separate fields The lower growing squashes in fact acted as a ground cover that reduced weed populations once the plants were well up It may be that agriculture of this sort rather than placing a premium on work placed a premium on leisure Certainly it was not difficult to leave cultivation to women while men fought dreamed and built monuments to gods While it may be pushing too far to suggest that the agriculture of the Neolithic period established the direction of civilization for all time it is clear that the development of cities the breakdown of gens and the rise of stratified societies with their priestly and ruling classes was not likely in the absence of agricultural development The spread of agriculture in the Old World was rapid while the techniques of agriculture changed very slowly indeed The plow that allowed early man to harness animals for work appeared in the 3rd millenium BC and was largely unchanged until the appearance of the moldboard plow in the Middle Ages AD Cultivation of small grains in 16th Century England was not significantly different from the methods used by neolithic man Not until the 18th century were substantial While it may be pushing too far to suggest that the agriculture of the Neolithic period established the direction of civilization for all time it is clear that the development of cities the breakdown of gens and the rise of stratified societies with their priestly and rul ing classes was not likely in the absence of agricultural development improvements made In the New World agriculture spread as well to as far north as the St Lawrence Valley throughout the eastern part of the United States and of course throughout the southeast Its southern migration stretched to the tip of South America The crops domesticated by Neolithic man remained the staple of farming Indians in the New World through the time of the European invasions European farmers brought with them to the New World some technology but more importantly a sense of time and of work and social organization grounded in the agriculture of small grains When combined with the productive capacity of New World plants the beginning of American agriculture was well established 182014 origins ofagriculture Britannica Online Encyclopedia Earliest beginnings The domestication of plants and animals caused changes in theirform the presence or absence ofsuch changes indicates whether a given organism was wild or a domesticate On the basis ofsuch evidence one ofthe oldesttransitions from hunting and gathering to agriculture has been identi ed as dating to between 14500 and 12000 bp in SouthwestAsia It was experienced bygroups known as Epipaleolithic peoples who survived from the end of the Paleolithic Period into early postglacial times and used smaller stone tools microblades than their predecessors The Natufians an Epipaleolithic culture located in the Levant possessed stone sickles and intensively collected many plants such as wild barley Hordeurn spontaneurn In the eastern Fertile Crescent Epipaleolithic people who had been dependenton hunting gazelles Gazela species and wild goats and sheep began to raise goats and sheep but notgazelles as livestock By12000 1 1000 bp and possiblyearlier domesticated forms ofsome plants had been developed in the region and by 10000 bp domesticated animals were appearing Elsewhere in the Old World the archaeological record for the earliest agriculture is not as well known at this time but by 8500 8000 bp millet Setaria taca and Panburn miiaceurn and rice Oryza satVa were being domesticated in EastAsia In the Americas squash Cucurbita pepo and C moschata existed in domesticated form in southern Mexico and northern Peru by about 10000 9000 bp By 5000 3000 bp the aboriginal peoples of eastern North America and what would become the southwestern United States were turning to agriculture In sum plant and animal domestication and therefore agriculture were undertaken in a variety ofplaces each independentofthe others The dog appears to have been the earliestdom esticated animal as it is found in archaeological sites around the world by the end ofthe last glacial period Genetic evidence indicates that a verysmall num ber offemales as few as three were ancestral to 95 percentofall domesticated dogs The species greatestgenetic diversityis in China which indicates that the historyofdogs is probablylongerthere than elsewhere The earliestdogs found in the Americas are all descendants ofthe Chinese group suggesting that they accom panied the rst people to reach the New World an event that occurred at least 13000 years ago see Native American Prehistory People reached Beringia the temporaryland bridge between Siberia and Alaska as long as 40000 years ago suggesting that dogs may have been domesticated even earlier Although the exact timing of dog domestication has not been definitively determined it is clearthat the dog was domesticated from the wolf How and whythis happened is not well understood but the earliestdogs may have assisted humans with hunting and finding food Studies have demonstrated that dogs as young as nine months of age are betterat reading human social behaviour and communication than wolves oreven chimpanzees This characteristic appears to be inherited and would have established a veryclose bond between dogs and humans Early development The developm entof agriculture involves an intensi cation ofthe processes used to extract resources from the environment more food medicine fibre and other resources can be obtained from a given area ofland byencouraging useful plant and animal species and discouraging others As the productivity and predictabilityoflocal resources increased the logistics of their procurement changed particularlyregarding the extent to which people were prepared to travel in orderto take advantage of seasonallyavailable items Group com position eventually became more stable mobilitydeclined and as a consequence populations increased In terms ofmaterial culture durable houses and heavytools such as pestles mortars and grindstones all ofwhich had long been known came into more general use Although discussions ofprehistoric cultures often implya direct correlation between the development of potteryand the origins ofagriculture this is nota universal relationship In some parts ofthe Old World such as SouthwestAsia and in the Americas potteryappears long after agriculture starts while in EastAsia where the first pottery dates to as early as 13700 bp the opposite is the case Southwest Asia Village farming began to spread across SouthwestAsia shortlyafter 10000 bp and in less than 1000 years settled farming quot9quot 39 39 com maclihrar r momma 39 39z39 N 39 39 UIDU107611076210763107641076510767 110 182014 origins ofagriculture Britannica Online Encyclopedia cultures were widespread in the region Notably the intensive harvesting of wild grains firstappeared well before the Epipaleolithic Period Atthe Ohalo II site in Israel 0 23000 bp a small group ofUpper Paleolithic people lived in brush shelters and harvested a wide range ofgrass seeds and other plantfoods Atthe NetivHagdud site in Israel dating to 11500 bp wild barleyis the most common plantfood found among the grass legume nut and other plant remains The NetivHagdud occupants manufactured and used large numbers ofsickles grinding tools and storage facilities indicating an agricultural lifewaythat preceded domesticated plants The barleyat the site is wild in form butthe large quantities and singular importance ofthe plant indicate that itwas a crop Similarly the cereals at the Syrian sites of Mureybetand JerfelAhmar appearto be wild The Abu Hureyra site in Syria is the largest known site from the era when plants and animals were initially being domesticated Two periods of occupation bracketing the transition to agriculture have been unearthed there The people of the earlier Epipaleolithic occupation lived in much the same manneras those at NetivHagdud However the wide arrayof plantand animal remains found atAbu Hureyra show that its residents were exploiting signi cantamounts ofwild einkorn the progenitor ofdom esticated wheat rye Secae species and gazelle in addition they harvested lentils Lens species and vetch Vicia species The earliest rye at the site is directly radiocarbondated to 12000 bp and may be domesticated If so itwould be the earliest evidence of plant domestication in the world however the oldest indisputably dom esticated grain is einkorn from Nevali Qori Turkey dating to about 10500 bp During the later period ofoccupation the people ofAbu Hureyra grew a broader range of cultigens including barley rye and two earlyforms of domesticated wheat em mer Triticurn turgidurn dicoccun and einkorn Triticurn monococcum Legumes which fix nitrogen to the soil were also grown they helped to maintain soil health and added plant protein to the diet In addition a form of crop rotation came into use either byaccidentor bydesign also helping to maintain soil fertility People in Southwest Asia had become dependent on cultigens by 10000 bp a rapid transition The research at Abu Hureyra has suggested thatthe rapid developmentoffarming in the region was caused bythe sudden onset ofa cool period the Younger Dryas c 12700 11500 bp during which mostofthe wild resources people had been using became scarce This model suggests that agriculture was alreadya component ofthe economyand that it simply expanded to fill the gap left by this reduction in natural resources This explanation maybe too simplistic oritmayapplyonlyto the Abu Hureyra region At the time people throughout SouthwestAsia were developing agriculture in a varietyof environments and using a diverse array ofplants they probably shifted to food production fordifferent reasons depending on local conditions While village life and plantdomestication were getting underwayin the Fertile Crescent people in the foothills ofthe Zagros Mountains Iran were relatively mobile practicing vertical transhumance VWd goats and sheep were hunted at lower elevations in the colder months and at higherelevations in the warmer months People also harvested wild grasses as they followed the animals Sheep and goats eventuallyreplaced gazelles as the primary animal food of SouthwestAsia The earliestevidence for managed sheep and goat herds a decrease in the size ofanimals is found atthe Ganj Dareh Ganj Darreh site in Iran between about 10500 and 10000 bp This size change maysimplyre ectan increase in the ratio of female to male animals as these species are sexuallydimorphic and many pastoral peoples preferentiallyconsume male animals in orderto preserve the maximum number ofbreeding females The smallersize mayalso reflect the culling of large oraggressive males More than 1000 years later the All Kosh site also in Iran was settled This site is located in a lower elevation zone than Ganj Dareh outside the natural range ofgoats Goat remains at All Kosh show clear signs of domestication the females have no horns Sheep and goats were herded at Abu Hureyra by 8000 bp Cattle were not of immediate importance to the people ofancientSouthwestAsia although aurochs Bos primigenius the wild ancestors ofmodern cattle were hunted throughoutthe region byabout10000 bp and forthe next 1000 years diminished in bodysize Smaller domesticated forms of cattle were not prevalent until about 8000 bp in Anatolia and on the coast ofthe Mediterranean The successful agricultural system thatwould come to support Mesopotamia s complexforms of political organization began with the amalgamation after 10000 bp ofthe predominantlygrainbased economies found in the western Fertile Crescentand the livestockbased economies of the eastern Fertile Crescent to form a production system invested in both During the earliest period ofthis transition hoes ordigging sticks were used to breakthe ground where necessary and quot9quot 39 39 com maclihrar r unnmnna 39 39z39 N 39 39 rumu1076110762107631076410765107137 210 1mm Dv v mmavucuhme BuunmcaDnhneErmD avema n aumguh m n H mm y y hws uwuVMesupmamwa the Americas Mnh M y WEYE unknuwn m nm m n n smm canwdechned and vewuudwas m uwsupmv H mm H q cunsuuueu m nunhem Mama 1 mmm n nH h n me y n m Hwywa u m MH m k Camna moschaia and mka Meeagnsgalopavo 0mm 1 111 M n u m mum devemped eavhenhan m a he same me as agncuume East nsm mnan m h auv mmavucunme BuunmcaDnhneErmD avema numesucamm mum eavhes mser 5 quotmm ducumemed m anv deta m vhrm nNN mtensmcauun uMcE pvuuucuun qu h m mm HN nmmnnn Eurnrle m 11an11 M mm mm mmv mkm m hm n n n V b n n Euvupe H um um y quotmm m m y h va n mmv m sumehmes Mammy W5 meme Yunhuusands UVveavs 1mm Dv v mmavucuhme BuunmcaDnhneErmD avema sumer h m Wmhn M q specwes apmes Mausspemes mums anusspemesx and mapes maceaespemeswwe u h me cummumlv and m smaH 1mm wasmubab vdumesucatedabum bpbvpastuva HumansmwhahsnqukvamE mdnm n m vm The Mlle valley m n mm m n y m m h mm m n m h r ammmewas c usE vassuma edwmh sumumm uhehumus new h m hn m u ammunuva devempmemandaccumpamedWemuvemevavcmcaWsuma svstem mm m m u m HM uh 4 Dv v mmavucuhme BuunmcaDnhneErmD avema been sumES edmatmme was a stem cmp m anmemEuVm hHH m m m n mmmy h NMh N am mmmm mam Remwas meeandahawbushe sUmvammtheacve h m m hmm n nm EEVpHan emuups m hm run an Wm q Mnnn h a edsheEpWasdevempedmvmeatandmHk Mesoamerlca Anundevs andmuuVMesuamencanammunuva uuumsshampevedbvmefac ha ew m Mm 39 rm m n y Huwevev me mm mm q vespunsm e Yunhese dwempmems m m 182014 origins ofagriculture Britannica Online Encyclopedia mutations is problematic Instead of requiring mutations a recentgenetic analysis indicates that a third grass gamma grass Tripsacurn dactyoides crossed with teosinte to produce a hybrid with the cob structure typical of corn Although teosinte is not particularly palatable Tripsacurn has a history of being used forfood People may have recognized teosinte Tripsacurn crosses in the wild and selected them for planting Another possibilityis that teosinte and early corn were exploited firstforthe sugarcontentoftheir stalks and leaves Ancient Mexicans chewed the leaves and stalks of early corn for theirsweet avour and the sugar and starch from corn were also useful in making alcohol an importantcomestible in many types ofsocial interactions Corn kernels would have been less important in these contexts making it less likelythat they would be preserved This might help explain the rarityofcorn in the earlyarchaeological record Whatever its origins corn became a staple crop ofthe Americas where it was often prepared as a potage or by boiling in limewater and grinding Cornmeal paste was then made into tortillas flat cakes or gruel Villages did not become common in the Americas until the socalled EarlyFormative period which began about3800 bp aftercorn was domesticated Allage life was based on the extended family composed of parents and theirchildren s families which provided the labourforce Villages were organized into largerterritorial units based on ceremonial centres that com monlyfeatured attopped pyramids Eventually Formative groups such as the Olmec known forcarving colossal stone heads developed large prosperous towns Largerterritorial units developed about 2000 bp and Formative cultures were eventuallyeclipsed bythe Maya Toltec and Aztec empires Food was supplied to these empires large urban centres bya combination of rainfed swidden fields and gardens and irrigated tropical lowland field systems Prominent crops in Mesoamerica eventuallyincluded avocados cacao chili peppers cotton common beans lima beans corn manioc tomatoes and quinoa Chenopodiurn quinoa subspecies The principal domestic animals were the turkey dog and Muscovyduck Irrigation terracing and the use ofartificial islands chinampas increased land usage in areas with less precipitation The land was cleared bychopping and burning and the seeds were sown with the aid of rehardened digging sticks Crops were stored in pits or granaries It is apparent that much remains to be learned about earlyagriculture in the Mesoamerican lowlands South Ame rica In the highlands of southcentral Chile potatoes were collected as early as 14000 bp By 5000 bp the domesticated potato is found in desert coastal sites itwas apparently domesticated well before that time Between 14000 and 8000 bp the cavi or guinea pig was economicallyim portant it was probablydomesticated by3000 bp VWd camelids were hunted as early as 10000 bp by7500 6000 bp llama and alpaca remains are so common in archaeological sites that they had probably been domesticated as well Quinoa was harvested by 7500 bp and cotton by 6000 bp in northern Peru Highland sites have also yielded squash c 10400 10000 bp and peanuts c 8500 bp However these cultigens were introduced to the Andes in fullydom esticated form indicating theywere im portant in the lowlands at the same time or earlier Thus the developm entofsuccessful tropical lowland swidden systems with crops such as avocados cacao chili peppers cotton manioc corn papayas sweet potatoes and tobacco may have a long historyin the Amazon basin Lowland sites have yielded the phytoliths ofdom esticated plants such as bottle gourd Lageneria siceraria squash and corn thatdate to between 8000 and 7000 bp However this evidence is controversial because phytoliths cannot yet be directly dated The 8000 7000 bp phytolith date forearlycorn has also been questioned because itchallenges the timing ofthe domestication of corn in Mexico which seems to be the more likely site forthis transform ation Corn rem ains directly dated to 3500 bp have been recovered from coastal Ecuadorand are reported from the interiora few centuries later These remains are consistentwith an earlier domestication in Mexico followed bya southward dispersal to South America Additional directlydated corn remains will be necessaryto sort outthe com plexissue ofthis plant s initial domestication and spread The lima bean and the common bean are two other significant crops that became widespread in the Americas Both appear to have been domesticated in the southern Andes The oldestdom esticated lima beans come from the Peruvian desert coast and date to between 7000 and 5000 bp however as this plant was domesticated in the highlands it must have become a cultigen well before 7000 bp The oldestcommon bean in the Americas is from Guitarrero Cave Peru and is directly dated to 4300 bp Lima beans at the same site date to 3400 bp My 39 39 mm mar lihrar r momma 39 39 39 M 39 39 rumu1076110762107631076410765107137 710 1 182014 origins ofagriculture Britannica Online Encyclopedia Studies of pollen and charcoal retrieved from ancient sediments around Lake Ayauch Ecuador in the western Amazon indicate that the earliestforest clearance and burning norm allyassociated with swidden agriculture occurred there about 5000 bp orslightly earlier Between 4500 and 2000 bp these activities had also intensified in the eastern Amazon Tropical lowland slashandburn agriculture was apparently practiced throughoutthe Amazon basin bythattime Ceramic griddles used to cook bitter manioc appear about4000 bp The long history of swidden production is related to its appropriateness forthe tropical lowlands it helped to maintain local soil fertility and mimicked the ecologicallydiverse tropical ecosystem Further labourintensive technologywas not required Some researchers have proposed that the nature oftropical lowland cannot be 39 without the longterm presence of swidden agriculture Agriculture eventuallycame to supportthe Inca empire and other highland South American cultures The problems of maintaining large populations in the highlands were resolved through an agricultural system supported byterracing irrigation and fertilizers North America The regions north ofthe Rio Grande saw the origin ofthree or perhaps four agricultural complexes Two ofthese developed in what is now the southwestern United States The UpperSonoran complex included corn squash bottle gourd and the common bean and was found where rainfall was greaterthan about200 mm 8 inches annually The Lower Sonoran complex with less annual precipitation included corn squash cotton and beans tepary bean lima bean scarlet runner bean and jack bean Canavaia ensiformis Corn appears to have been the firstcultigen in the Southwest Direct radiocarbon dates place it at the Bat Cave site in the Mogollon highlands ofNew Mexico by3200 bp where squash is also present The first beans appearabout 1500 bp These crops were integrated into the diets ofArchaic cultures groups characterized by high mobility no pottery and extensive plant use including grain harvesting The Southwestern Archaic system may have been similarto those ofthe traditional Paiute and Kumeyaayone branch ofthe Diegue o Indians who did not practice agriculture per se butwho had developed an agroecosystem In agroecosystem s people actively planted flora in orderto increase the diversity of available plant resources Theyalso harvested wild grass seeds separating the grain heads from the stalks by pulling or cutting The stalks were gathered into sheaves After harvesting they burned the grass and then broadcast some ofthe seeds over the burned area consuming the rest Economicallyimportant plants were concentrated around their settlements as a result of these actions In mostofthe Southwest the Archaic lifestyle was transform ed to a more sedentary system supported byfood production soon after 1700 bp By900 bp Ancestral Pueblo Anasazi Hohokam and Mogollon communities had become widespread These groups used a varietyof agricultural techniques crops were grown on alluvium caught behind check dams low walls built in arroyos to catch runofffrom the limited rains hillside contourterraces helped conserve soil and water and bordered gardens and irrigation systems were devised AtSnaketown a Hohokam site in Arizona a complex canal system supported a large urban population Many canals were at least2 metres 65 feet deep and 3 metres almost 10 feet wide In the nearbyPhoenix area hundreds of kilometres ofcanals have been found See also Southwest Indian The third agricultural regime in North America was found in the eastern part ofthe continent Itoriginated in the region between the Mississippi River and the Appalachian Mountains an area that includes the rich watersheds of rivers such as the Illinois Kentucky and Tennessee Plants ofthe Eastern Agricultural Complex included sunflower squash a native chenopod Chenopodiurn berandierr amaranth Amaranthus species maygrass Phaaris caroiniana sumpweed Iva annua little barley Hordeurn pusilurn and possibly erect knotweed Poygonurn erecturn Fish shellfish deer acorns walnuts Jugans species and hickory nuts Carya species were also important An agroecologysim ilarto that proposed for the Archaic Southwest probably existed among the Eastern Archaic peoples but it has been dif cultto document Eastern groups had wellestablished bases from which theyforaged including shell mound sites used forthousands ofyears in Kentuckyand Tennessee Atthe Kostersite in Illinois a semipermanentvillage dates to 8400 bp and a more permanentsettlementwas occupied beginning about 5900 bp The earliest Iocallydom esticated plant in the region is squash examples appear between 8000 and 5000 bp on sites in quot9quot 39 39 com maclihrar r momma 39 39z39 N 39 39 rumu1076110762107631076410713510767 810 182014 origins ofagriculture Britannica Online Encyclopedia Missouri Illinois Kentucky Pennsylvania and Maine Squash seeds from the Phillips Spring site Missouri date to about 5000 bp and are within the size range ofdom esticated squash Although a squash was domesticated in Mesoamerica by 10000 bp genetic and biochemical research indicates that the squashes in eastern North America are a separate subspecies that was domesticated locally Anotherearlylocal cultigen is sumpweed Adrastic change in seed size indicates thatwild sumpweed fruits were harvested in Illinois about 7000 bp and that by5500 bp a domesticated largeseeded sum pweed was being grown The average size ofsumpweed seeds continued to enlarge until about 500 bp when the domesticated form became extinct butwild forms have persisted Sunflower is anothercrop that was domesticated in the East Sm all wild sun owerfruits are reported from the Koster site in an occupation dating to about9000 bp By 5000 bp at the Hayes site in Tennessee Iargerdomesticated sun owerfruits are reported VWd sunflower is not native to the East Rather wild sun ower appears to have been introduced somehow from the Colorado Plateau in the US Southwest Sun ower was never domesticated there however sometime afterthe start of the European conquest domesticated sun owerwas introduced to the region from the East Chenopod domestication in the Eastdates to at Ieast4500 bp when thinseedcoat specimens appear at the Cloudsplitter and Newt Kash rock shelters in Kentucky Extensive collection of chenopod fruits began even earlier in Illinois Eastern Archaic peoples were becoming increasinglysedentary by about 4000 3000 bp At Poverty Point in the lower Mississippi valley now Poverty Point National Monument people built a com plex set of geom etrically arranged mounds that date to between 3800 and 3400 bp By 3000 bp the Eastern Agricultural Complex supported a com plex socioeconomic system exempli ed by cultures such as the Adena and its descendant the Hopewell see also Woodland cultures In much ofthe region communities became fullysedentary in addition potteryhad become common mound complexes began to be builtover a wide area and populations were growing rapidly Also at about 3000 bp archaeological sites on the Cumberland Plateau of Kentucky provide clear evidence that re was being used to clear garden plots Burning was widely used in aboriginal North America as a technique for clearing the forest understory it was also used to maintain stands offiretolerant species such as oak Bycreating forest openings and edges that exposed the trees to more sunlightand less com petition burning encouraged more nut production The earliest corn in the Eastappears in the central Mississippi valleyabout 2100 bp The introduction of corn did not displace the use oflocallydomesticated plants Instead it seems to have been an addition thatdid not immediately have an obvious impact By1600 bp corn was grown as far north as Ontario Can where no form of crop production had previously existed By1500 bp the Hopewell pattern ceased Two distinct systems followed the Mississippian and the Late Woodland both eventuallysupported by com agriculture In the Mississippi valley and the Southeast urban centres with temple mound architecture had developed by 1000 bp Atalmostthe same time in the Northeast people were beginning to establish Ionghouse villages and towns The common bean was not incorporated into agricultural production until about800 years ago Bythen substantial socioeconomic changes resulting from agriculture had transformed the human landscape across the region see also Northeast Indian Southeast Indian The region from southern British Columbia through California and westto the Great Basin is increasingly being considered as the domain ofa fourth agricultural regime Nearlyall ofthe native peoples living in this region managed habitats and plants and some had small gardens at the time of European contact Perhaps because the first Europeans to visitthe region did notwitness the extensive geometricfield production ofgrains with which theywere familiar theyassumed the indigenous peoples did not have agriculture Nevertheless people such as the Owens Valley Paiute irrigated the grasses they used for subsistence Other groups used controlled burning to manage oak stands and increase acorn production often planting tobacco in the burned areas Another management technique was to tend sedges Cyperaceae family so that the rhizomes became long and unbranched a practice that made the plants easierto harvest These complex plantand habitat management practices blur the distinctions between huntergatherers and farmers to the extentthat many anthropologists are no Iongerclassifying these people as huntergatherers per se see also NorthwestCoast Indians California Indians Great Basin Indians quot9quot 39 39 com maclihrar r momma 39 39z39 N 39 39 rumu1076110762107631076410713510767 910 182014 origins ofagriculture Britannica Online Encyclopedia Gary W Crawford quot9quot 39 39 com maclihrar r momma 39 39z39 N 39 39 Iwnu10761107621076310764107651076 1010