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Old 05-29-2017, 01:16 PM
igor frankensteen igor frankensteen is offline
Join Date: Sep 2016
Posts: 1,142
Originally Posted by Colibri View Post
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.
What I'm trying to get at is that just as humans evolved as creatures physically, they also evolved as societies, and for the same reasons. People react to pressures by trying to adapt, one way and another. I'm not suggesting at all, that the ONLY way a group of humans switches from hunter gatherer to agriculture is because there's a desert all around the fertile valley they stumbled into. Only that in general, such environmental conditions directly contributed to WHERE such developments took place. Wide flat grass covered plains aren't nearly as conducive to organizing a defensible permanent settlement as valleys are. And islands do fit the concept every bit as well as valleys do.

Humans cooperating obviously predated the advent of what we refer to as civilization, it was and is necessary for hunter-gatherer tribes, every bit as much as it is for agriculture.

But mainly, I'm just staying with the idea that people didn't intellectually DECIDE to switch from free-roaming tribes to land-holding groups. They didn't conduct a formal study by all the brightest and most imaginative hunters and come up with "lets stick food in the ground on purpose and then hang around and wait, and then invent a name for it." They also didn't DECIDE to switch from primarily agriculture based lives, to industry based lives either. That evolved as well, and did so every bit as crudely and painfully as the shift to agriculture and semi-stable city life did.