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Old 05-29-2017, 06:01 PM
Banksiaman Banksiaman is offline
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Join Date: Apr 2012
Location: Australia
Posts: 518
Many cultures we'd call hunter-gatherers spend a lot of their time actively husbanding [?spousing] plant and animal resources in ways that are no different to farming. The perception that unless you are putting seed down in long rows you ain't a farmer is bound up with all sorts of Darwinian notions of cultural evolution that tell us more about 19th century values than about what really took place.

From 10,000+ years ago emerging environmental stability, established sustained management of plants or animals become preconditions to further intensification. Cereals have seeds that can be readily transferred, while some resources [eels, yams] can only be enhanced but not readily replanted. They seem to be the ones that make the transition to what we'd call farming.

Intensification involves more growing and hopefully bigger surpluses, but it is social changes that allow surpluses to be distributed in a way that usually create a more hierarchical society that allows surpluses that provide greater power to some and so on.