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Thread: Did agriculture arise in one place then spread or in multiple places independently?1311 days old

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    Default Did agriculture arise in one place then spread or in multiple places independently?

    Greetings,

    Did agriculture arise in one place then spread or in multiple places independently? It is unclear to me from this illustration.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Ce...griculture.svg

    Thanks

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    It does seem like agriculture arose independently in the Americas and the Middle East. So it arose at least in two places, and probably a lot more. There are many different forms of agriculture which has little commonality other than being agriculture.
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    Here's a hotlink to the image:



    It says on Wikipedia, right below the image:

    Map of the world showing approximate centers of origin of agriculture and its spread in prehistory: the Fertile Crescent (11,000 BP), the Yangtze and Yellow River basins (9,000 BP) and the New Guinea Highlands (9,000–6,000 BP), Central Mexico (5,000–4,000 BP), Northern South America (5,000–4,000 BP), sub-Saharan Africa (5,000–4,000 BP, exact location unknown), eastern North America (4,000–3,000 BP).[6]

    You can read more about it here:

    Farmers and Their Languages: The First Expansions: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/300/5619/597

    Obviously agriculture arose independently in the Americas vis-à-vis pre-historic Fertile Crescent, but other than that, it's possible but unlikely that the major Old World agricultural hotspots, may have been influenced through word-of-mouth and/or migrations by the original Neolithic Revolution in the Middle East, since it happened a few thousands years earlier. The agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa very likely got the idea indirectly from the Middle East, as the map shows. With China and Papa New Guina, it's more difficult, because they were not only more cut off and isolated from the Middle East, but also started much closer in time to the agricultural revolution in the Middle East.
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    Hmm. It seems an unbelievable coincidence that for hundreds of thousand years humans were hunter gatherers without agriculture then within a few thousand years agriculture arose all over the planet independently. Why? I would have expect it to have spread gradually from one location. What changed globally to cause it to relatively suddenly arise in multiple locations?

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    Quote Originally Posted by cosmicvoyager View Post
    Hmm. It seems an unbelievable coincidence that for hundreds of thousand years humans were hunter gatherers without agriculture then within a few thousand years agriculture arose all over the planet independently. Why? I would have expect it to have spread gradually from one location. What changed globally to cause it to relatively suddenly arise in multiple locations?
    It's a very good point you're making.

    It's of course fully possible that the first agriculture in the Americas, whether it was in central Mexico or in south America, did influence one another. But it's unlikely that those who discovered agriculture in the Americas, somehow learned it from ancient Chinese folks, because the Americas was quite isolated back in the day. In Eurasia, it's possible the Chinese discovered agriculture through migrants or hearsay from the Middle East, difficult to say really. We really don't know much about prehistory; we're talking, or rather speculating, about a timespan of thousands of years without documented records.

    Agriculture has nonetheless played a major and important role in giving the Middle East and China, a head-start in civilisation. It's no coincidence that the Middle East was a major hotspot for civilisation, and the Neo-Assyrian Empire represents the ultimate development point of the original Neolithic Revolution, which according to the agricultural map above, is roughly in line with the borders of the Neo-Assyrian Empire. Chinese civilisation is almost as old as Middle Eastern civilisation. This is not a coincidence.

    Personally I don't really think of Saudi/Gulf Arabs as "Middle Eastern", or "Near Eastern". They're more a bi-product of the Fertile Crescent.
    Last edited by EliasAlucard; 2014-10-18 at 15:49.
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    Quoted for truth:
    Quote Originally Posted by Alaron View Post
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    For the lulz:
    Quote Originally Posted by drgs View Post
    Poland is a misunderstanding. It is a country which lies on the frontier between western and slavic world, and which combines elements of both.
    In fact, they are not even the Europeans in strict sense, meaning European as in bearing the responsibility and understanding of European interests. Poland has always been an subordinate country, on one side sucking German dick, on the other side -- Russian one, some kind of "novice" europeans, who are full of inferiority complexes, hysteria and obsessity neuroses. This is also true for all Baltic countries

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    I think that there actually were earlier forms of agriculture much farther back, perhaps similar to the rain forest gardening agriculture in the tropics. That form of agriculture - though not based on wheat, corn or rice - could have existed in all tropical regions with forests. I believe that there was something similar in Africa and Asia - planting plants and harvesting them, in the form of forest gardening. The main crops we use today had to exist for more modern agriculture to exist. Somehow, specific agriculture became dominant, but people weren't necessarily pure hunter-gatherers before the "spread of agriculture". In some way we're still partially hunter-gatherer societies, because fishermen are essentially hunter-gatherers, as long as they don't use fish farming.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Forest_gardening
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    Quote Originally Posted by EliasAlucard View Post
    Here's a hotlink to the image:



    It says on Wikipedia, right below the image:

    Map of the world showing approximate centers of origin of agriculture and its spread in prehistory: the Fertile Crescent (11,000 BP), the Yangtze and Yellow River basins (9,000 BP) and the New Guinea Highlands (9,000–6,000 BP), Central Mexico (5,000–4,000 BP), Northern South America (5,000–4,000 BP), sub-Saharan Africa (5,000–4,000 BP, exact location unknown), eastern North America (4,000–3,000 BP).[6]

    You can read more about it here:

    Farmers and Their Languages: The First Expansions: http://www.sciencemag.org/content/300/5619/597

    Obviously agriculture arose independently in the Americas vis-à-vis pre-historic Fertile Crescent, but other than that, it's possible but unlikely that the major Old World agricultural hotspots, may have been influenced through word-of-mouth and/or migrations by the original Neolithic Revolution in the Middle East, since it happened a few thousands years earlier. The agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa very likely got the idea indirectly from the Middle East, as the map shows. With China and Papa New Guina, it's more difficult, because they were not only more cut off and isolated from the Middle East, but also started much closer in time to the agricultural revolution in the Middle East.
    At the bolded part - Sub-Saharan Africa only received the animal package like goats and cattle (kinda), the plant cultivation is clearly native.

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    According to Nikolai Vavilov there were 12 centers of origin for agriculture:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Center_of_origin

    He's more or less right. However the SE Asia origin is Papua New Guinea. Also Ethiopia probably wasn't the SSA origin for agriculture.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Iron Hand View Post
    According to Nikolai Vavilov there were 12 centers of origin for agriculture:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Center_of_origin

    He's more or less right. However the SE Asia origin is Papua New Guinea. Also Ethiopia probably wasn't the SSA origin for agriculture.
    But those are only the origin of the dominant and current form of agriculture, wheat, corn, potato, rice. As I wrote above there was likely agriculture long before any of the major agricultural centres as per the article. Agriculture did not suddenly emerge all over the world at the same time, in fact it didn't happen simultaneously at all. New guinea has a type of sedentary agriculture which resembles what I described above, and they are not the only people who have or had this kind of agriculture, it could potentially be 100 K years old. Obviously the age is completely unknown, it could've come and gone in various areas, depending on circumstances like climatic and environmental factors.
    "A bloke walks into a pub, and asks for a pint of Adenosinetriphosphate.
    The barman says "That'll be ATP please!"
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