Chapter 2 Powerpoint

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CHAPTER 2
First Farmers: The Revolutions of Agriculture
10,000 B.C.E.–3000 B.C.E.
Copyright © 2011 by Bedford/St. Martin’s
1. What accounts for the emergence of agriculture
after countless millennia of human life without it?
• The end of the last Ice Age = global warming
– 11,000 years ago made agriculture possible
– warmer, wetter, and more stable climatic conditions =
more wild plants, especially cereal grasses
• climate change+ human hunting, pushed various species
of large mammals into extinction=the need for new food
sources.
• Humans learned to make use of a large number of plants
and animals.
• developed techniques + technologies
– encouraged the growth of favored plants and harvest
wild plants and animals more easily.
• More people= Need for more FOOD
3. In what ways did agriculture spread? Where
and why was it sometimes resisted? .
• Agriculture spread in two ways:
1. through diffusion
•
2.
Diffusion refers to the gradual spread of the techniques
of agriculture, and perhaps of the plants and animals
themselves, but without extensive movement of people
through colonization
•
Colonization refers to the migration of agricultural
peoples as growing populations and pressures to
expand pushed them outward. Often this meant the
conquest, absorption, or displacement of earlier
gatherers and hunters.
• Resistence occurred in areas not suitable for
farming.
4. What was revolutionary about the
Agricultural Revolution?
• support much larger populations
• dominance of the human species over
other forms of life on the planet
• technological innovation
– techniques for making pottery
– weaving textiles
– metallurgy
• impact of humans on their environments
5. What different kinds of societies
emerged out of the Agricultural Revolution
•
Pastoral societies
– domesticated animals
– common in regions where farming was difficult or impossible
•
–
•
arctic tundra, some grasslands, and deserts.
mobile moving seasonally- following the changing patterns of vegetation- in order to feed
their animals.
Village-based agricultural societies
– settled farmers
– retained much of the equality and freedom of gathering and hunting communities
– No kings, chiefs, bureaucrats, or aristocracies.
– usually organized in terms of kinship groups or lineages
•
•
large numbers of people could make and enforce rules, maintain order, and settle disputes.
Chiefdoms
– agricultural communities were ruled by figures who inherited positions of power and
privilege.
– These chiefs ruled through their generosity or gift giving, their ritual status, or their personal
charisma.
– rarely could they use force to compel obedience
6. How did chiefdoms differ from stateless
agricultural village societies?
Chiefdoms
Agricultural Village
Societies
• Chiefdoms possessed more
well-defined and
pronounced social
inequalities, some of which
were inherited.
• Unlike members of
agricultural village societies,
commoners in chiefdoms
provided tribute to their
chief in the form of food,
manufactured goods, and
raw materials.
• organized themselves in terms
of kinship groups or lineages.
• The lineage system provided
the framework within which
large numbers of people could
make and enforce rules,
maintain order, and settle
disputes.
• developed modest social and
economic inequalities, but they
were not as well defined as
those of chiefdoms and were
not hereditary
Big Picture Questions
7. The Agricultural Revolution marked a decisive turning
point in human history. What evidence might you offer to
support this claim, and how might you argue against it?
In Support:
• support much larger populations
• dominance of the human species over
other forms of life on the planet
• an explosion of technological innovation,
including techniques for making pottery
and weaving textiles and metallurgy
• the growing impact of humans on their
environments
In Opposition:
• Agricultural Revolution was a long-term
process rather than a turning point, and
that even today it is not practiced
universally by all humankind.
Also,
• Agricultural Revolution was part of a
longer process of more intense human
exploitation of the earth that began long
before the first permanent agricultural
settlements took shape.
8. How did early agricultural societies differ from those of
the Paleolithic era? How does the example of settled
gathering and hunting peoples such as the Chumash
complicate this comparison?
• Agricultural societies experienced greater social
inequality
– were larger and more densely settled
– were less mobile
– developed more advanced technologies
• Everyday life and health was not necessarily better
in agricultural societies than in Paleolithic societies.
• Farming involved more and harder work than
gathering and hunting.
• Agricultural diets were often nutritionally poorer
than those of Paleolithic societies, and more
vulnerable to famine should their crops fail.
• The Chumash complicate the comparison
– their sedentary lifestyle allowed them to develop
more advanced technologies.
– they lived in a region in which fishing could
support a large population.
• acquisition of goods led to greater social
inequality, so that, in terms of social structure,
Chumash society with its chiefs resembled
more closely an agricultural chiefdom than a
typical gathering and hunting society.
10. Was the Agricultural Revolution inevitable? Why did
occur so late in the story of humankind?
• Only after more favorable climatic conditions emerged following
the last Ice Age did the Agricultural Revolution begin. While it is
impossible to discount the possibility that an agricultural
revolution would have happened even without improved weather
conditions, the revolution as it occurred required favorable
climatic conditions and therefore cannot be seen as inevitable.
• Aside from climatic conditions, the Agricultural Revolution was
part of a longer process of more intense human exploitation of
the earth that began long before the first permanent agricultural
settlements took shape. The development of techniques and
technologies during this process proved important for the
transition to settled agriculture, and the need to develop these
new techniques and technologies also explains in part why the
Agricultural Revolution occurred so late in human history.
11. “The Agricultural Revolution provides evidence
for ‘progress’ in human affairs.”
How would you evaluate
this statement?
• “progress” include
– the growth of population
– the beginning of the dominance of the human species over other
forms of life on the planet
– and an explosion of technological innovation, including techniques
for making pottery and weaving textiles and metallurgy
• However, a number of developments associated with the
Agricultural Revolution that may not be considered “progress,”
including:
–
–
–
–
growing social inequality
the emergence of the payment of tribute
a general decline in nutrition
and the emergence of new and deadly
diseases
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