Lecture 10 Food Production
Lecture 10 Food Production Anthropology 1000
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This 5 page Class Notes was uploaded by Emily Bird on Sunday October 25, 2015. The Class Notes belongs to Anthropology 1000 at Auburn University taught by Dr. Christopher Berk in Summer 2015. Since its upload, it has received 29 views. For similar materials see Introduction to Anthropology in anthropology, evolution, sphr at Auburn University.
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Date Created: 10/25/15
Lecture 10 Food Production Cosmologies We have already seen how theories of evolution attempt to make sense of human origins just as accounts of divine creation do The parallel trend in new and old cosmologies continues in our discussion of food production or domestication Genesis 31719 and Kottak 11251 0 quotthen to Adam He said quotBecause you have heeded the voice of your wife and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you saying 39You shall not eat of it Cursed is the ground for your sake in toil you shall eat of it all the days of your life Both thorns and thistles it shall bring forth for you and you shall eat the herb of the eld In the sweat of your face you shall eat bread till you return to the ground for out of it you were taken for dust you are and to dust you shall returnquot 0 quotIn general foraging societies tend to be egalitarian with only minor contrasts in prestige and no signi cant contrasts in wealth and powerWhen considering issues of 39human nature we should remember that the egalitarian society associated with the foraging strategy of adaptation was a basic form of human social life for most of our history Food production has existed less than 1 percent of the time Homo has spent on Earth However it has produced huge social differences Both of these texts place humans in an original quotstate of naturequot which is preferable in many ways to the kinds of societies we live in now As our societies became more and more urban industrial and strati ed we have conceptualized these other ways of life as a form of utopia o a perfect society So the most important questions are 1 Why would humans opt for a way of life that brings with it so many maladaptive dangerous and evil things 2 Why makes it worthwhile to live a life of domestication Broad Spectrum Revolution Reasons for the broad spectrum revolution 0 Global warming 0 Receding glaciers 0 Expansion of Human Range Foragers pursued a more generalized economy focusing less on large animals because smaller game allows for more resources This is considered Broad Spectrum Revolution 0 IE Hunting shing etc o This was the beginning of what has been called the Broad Spectrum Revolution 15000 BP to 12000 BP 0 By 10000 BP people in the Middle East were subsisting on domesticated crops and animals were living in permanent settlements The Hilly Flanks o The Hilly Flanks are located in the Fertile Crescent in the Middle East 0 Food production began here with barley and wheat It is compared to the Garden of Eden 0 consisting of four geographically close but very different environmental zones 1 High plateau 2 Hilly Flanks 3 Piedmont steppes 4 Alluvial plain The Natu ans o The Natu ans existed 1250010500 BP 0 Worked out the initial adaptation to this array of climates o Built permanent villages in the Hilly Flanks Became sedentary to remain close to their grain They were the rst to establish PERMANENT SETTLEMENTS They did this because they had to have a permanent place to store their wheat surplus They hunted gazelles wild sheep and goats Surplus Production Surplus production presented a number of challenges related to population size 1 Greater organization of harvest 2 Greater limitation of access 3 Increased routinization of distribution 4 New limits on consumption Expansion and Domestication Most of these challenges are related to population size 0 Once they reached carrying capacity the population spilled out into new ecological niches and marginal zones o The marginal zones did not support their food sources so they tried to maintain their lifestyles but ended up having to experiment Domestication o Domestication involved the alteration of both plants and animals 0 In contrast with broad spectrum foraging domestication was far more specialized and focused on a much smaller number of food sources Plant Domestication Combined human and natural selection 0 Wild WheatBarley l Brittle axis hard husks 0 Advantages of wild wheat Brittle Axis Spread easily to plant itself Hard Husk keep predators out Domesticated WheatBarley Hard axis brittle husk 0 Advantages of domesticated wheat Hard Axis can move it around without seeds falling off Brittle Husks easier access 0 IE They wouldn t have to cook the husks to get in them Animal Domestication Sheep and goats were also altered They were bred to be smaller and more docile They were also bred to be more efficient producers of wool hair milk fat and meat Seven World Areas of Food Production 0 We focus mostly on the Middle East Irrigation Between 7000 and 6000 BP people learned how to ring water into areas that did not have enough water or agriculture 0 lrrigation made it possible to live in large towns and cities on the alluvial plain which had rich soils o It also allowed or even larger surpluses which led to even more sedentary lifestyles and larger populations The State 0 These larger surpluses required greater administration and oversight This led to the evolution of the State 0 a form of social and political organization that has a formal central government and a division of society into social classes the elite ruling class artisans of cials etc the majority Slaves workers etc Early States The rst states emerged in the alluvial plains Tigris and Euphrates Mesopotamia of what is now Iraq then Sumer and Iran then Elam between 6000 and 5500 BP Uruk the capital city of Sumer had a population of about 50000 people by 4800 BP 0 Agriculture and central government were created here China Egypt and IndiaPakistan were all located in rivervalleys for better irrigation Key Attributes of Early CitiesStates 1 Larger and more densely populated that previous settlements 2 Productive farming economies supporting dense populations often including cities 3 Taxation to accumulate resources for specialists 4 Social Strati cation that created unequal access to wealth and power 0 Surplus takers receive the bene ts while the food producers are disadvantaged The food producers are considered the evolutionary advantage 5 Monumental architecture 0 IE Pyramids 6 Had some form of recordkeeping usually a written script like cuneiform New Problems Poor diets which led to poor healthMore varied diets and less nutritious because of the excessiveness of carbs Diseases and Epidemics Poverty inequality and crime because resources were no longer public goods It became less egalitarian LargeScale warfare over prime realestate power etc Environmental Degradation 0 IE Smelting which leads to air pollution Final Questions 0 So what makes this all worthwhile What dreams of utopia of a better way of life does the world of food production inspire