Category Archives: Agriculture

From agriculture to gardens

The shift from hunter-gatherers to agriculturalists is thought to have started around 12,000 years ago (Neolithic – New Stone Age). But I suspect that just 8,000 years for the development from intentional cultivation to purely decorative gardens may be an underestimate. Continue reading

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Scavenging came long before hunting

So the timeline I envisage for the development of human activity takes us from foraging to scavenging to hunting to herding to transient agriculture and finally to settled agriculture. Continue reading

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For Nenderthals as well as for hunter-gatherers it was absorption and not extinction

Two new studies suggest that it was interbreeding and absorption into larger populations and not some dead-end extinctions that caused Neanderthals and later hunter-gatherers to disappear. Continue reading

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Polynesian ancestors 3,000 years ago were hunter-gatherers rather than farmers

Early Lapita settlers from 3,000 years ago ate reef fish, marine turtles, fruit bats, free-range pigs and chickens, rather than primarily relying on growing crops for human food and animal fodder. Continue reading

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Why the hunters moved down from the hills

But this was a period of great change – environmental and social. The northern hemisphere was coming out of a glacial age, nomadic hunter-gatherers were “settling down” and the age of agriculture was approaching. I can imagine that dwellings at lower altitude would have been more suitable for continuous occupation whereas the caves and grottos at high altitude were probably only occupied seasonally. Continue reading

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SE Asia rainforests shaped by humans for 11,000 years

A new study comes to the brave conclusion – based on ancient pollen samples which contain charcoal and and therefore suggest that land was cleared and planted – that the rain forests of SE Asia have been “managed” by humans since about 11,000 years ago! Continue reading

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Distribution of the light skin gene in India shows an ancient, pre-agriculture coalescence with Europeans

Genetic research giving the distribution of the light skin gene on the Indian sub-continent suggests an ancient origin (upto 28,000 years ago) for the entry of this gene. The results are not inconsistent with the ancient origins of the Indian caste system being rooted in difference of race and skin colour. Continue reading

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