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Climatic Fluctuations and Early Farming in West and East Asia

Ofer Bar-Yosef
Current Anthropology
Vol. 52, No. S4, The Origins of Agriculture: New Data, New Ideas (October 2011), pp. S175-S193
DOI: 10.1086/659784
Stable URL:
Page Count: 19
Subjects: Anthropology
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Climatic Fluctuations and Early Farming in West and East Asia
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This paper presents a Levantine model for the origins of cultivation of various wild plants as motivated by the vagaries of the climatic fluctuation of the Younger Dryas within the context of the mosaic ecology of the region that affected communities that were already sedentary or semisedentary. In addition to holding to their territories, these communities found ways to intensify their food procurement strategy by adopting intentional growth of previously known annuals, such as a variety of cereals. The Levantine sequence, where Terminal Pleistocene and Early Holocene Neolithic archaeology is well known, is employed as a model for speculating on the origins of millet cultivation in northern China, where both the archaeological data and the dates are yet insufficient to document the evolution of socioeconomic changes that resulted in the establishment of an agricultural system.

Notes and References

This item contains 171 references.

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