View Single Post
Old 05-29-2017, 11:18 AM
Colibri Colibri is offline
SD Curator of Critters
Join Date: Oct 2000
Location: Panama
Posts: 38,424
Originally Posted by igor frankensteen View Post
I have my own personal theory as to how things came to be as they did, which this subject area hinges off of. My theory is based on noticing that the various "cradles of civilization" that we have come to recognize, the so-called fertile crescent in the ME, the Nile basin, the valleys of China and so on, all had the same basic set of things in common: great fertility, concentrated in a location surrounded by a wide expanse of barren territory.
That's not a valid generalization. For one thing, you're overlooking the agricultural societies outside of Eurasia and Egypt. There were of course major agricultural centers in Mesoamerica and the Andes. One of the earliest centers of crop domestication was New Guinea. Many crops were also domesticated in the Amazon basin in South America.

The interesting thing to me is that crop domestication seems to have begun almost simultaneously between 11,000 and 9,000 in widely scattered parts of the world in quite different climates, just after the end of the Pleistocene at the end of the Ice Ages. Humans seem to have started to domesticate crops as soon as the climate stabilized enough to make conditions somewhat predictable in particular areas.