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Old 05-29-2017, 07:50 AM
md2000 md2000 is offline
Join Date: Feb 2009
Posts: 13,437
Also keep in mind - humans didn't "choose" agriculture. It would have been a gradual evolution... It didn't take rocket science to figure out the pits and spare grains and such sprouted if they got wet, and turned into new plants.

So then the gradual process - instead of creating a big heap of leftover garbage, spread the seeds and leftover rotten stuff around in the meadow - when we get back here next year, there will be a bumper crop compared to normal. Oops, if you don't get back in time, the wild pigs and birds eat it all - arrive a little early to tend the crop. I also saw birds eating the seeds - we should bury them; if we're by here in the spring, we can plant them so they aren't exposed all winter. Store them in sealed clay jars over winter. Dry this fall? Adding water keeps the crops growing bigger. Wow, we have a lot - too much to carry it all. We can put it in clay pots, but we'll have to stick around here until it's all used up. Eventually range becomes less and less and crops become more important until it makes sense to wait out the harvest in one place.

This has the added bonus of allowing permanent structures for shelter which can be built up and defended - important as the tribe down the river also becomes more numerous.

I would also point out - seasonal variations may be significant, but less scary during the evolution of farming, as most of it happened in locales like the middle east, Egypt, and south central China where winter was not the blizzard and frozen pond experience of north Europe.

Once the technique of farming was perfected - the farming peoples had the advantage of a larger food supply nearer at hand, and the technique to use wherever the soil and climate permitted. The same sort of scenario would play out as happened across the world until recently - the agricultural people would move into a new area, and the local people either learn the new technique or slowly lose more of their prime hunting lands to farmers. And if it came to a physical confrontation, they were outnumbered and war was expensive to a small group.

Also, another point I've seen is that in fact the agricultural diet was more limited in variety than the hunter-gatherer diet until the rise of larger civilizations and the luxury of extended trade routes. Before that, agriculturalists had all their eggs in one or two baskets, so to speak.

Last edited by md2000; 05-29-2017 at 07:51 AM.