Agriculture: Ancient Methods

  • Alexia Smith
Reference work entry

Today very few communities subsist upon hunting and gathering, with the majority of the world's population living a sedentary life dependant upon agriculture. The shift from gathering wild plants and hunting wild animals to dependence upon crop production and animal herding took place independently in different parts of the world at different times. The earliest development of agriculture is widely thought to have occurred around 12,000 years ago in the Fertile Crescent of Southwest Asia. The Fertile Crescent forms an arc leading up the Levant from the Negev Desert of Israel to southeastern Turkey, turns east along the Taurus–Zagros mountain chain, and then south between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers down to the Persian Gulf. Independent development of agriculture occurred later in South and North China, Central America, South Central Andes, the Eastern United States, sub‐Saharan Africa, and perhaps Papua New Guinea.

Food Production Terminology

The ways in which societies throughout...

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  • Alexia Smith

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