Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Claire Smith

Foraging to Farming Transition: Global Health Impacts, Trends, and Variation

Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_133

Introduction

Among the most important developments in the history of our species was the transition from a dietary focus based exclusively on hunting, gathering, and collecting wild plants and animals to a diet based in whole or in part on domesticated plants and animals (Gremillion 2011). This development is especially profound because it laid the foundation for the world we live in today, including the rise of complex societies, urbanization, dramatic population increase, and establishing conditions for the appearance and spread of various infectious diseases (sometimes as epidemics), decline in nutritional quality, increase in interpopulation conflict, and the appearance of a plethora of other health and well-being issues now present and anticipated for the foreseeable future.

The transition to farming and domestication generally is all the more remarkable when one considers that the shift took place in just the last 10,000 or so years of the 6–7 million years that humans and...

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© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of AnthropologyThe Ohio State UniversityColumbusUSA