The Emergence of Agriculture ("Scientific American" Library)

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In this text, the archaeologist, Bruce Smith, explores the initial emergence and early expansion of agriculture and the transformations in human society that made it possible. He charts the course of the agricultural revolution as it occurred in the Middle East, Europe, China, Africa and the Americas, showing how basic archaeological methods and modern technologies, such as plant analysis, radiocarbon dating and DNA sampling are used to investigate this event. Although in the agricultural mind, the agricultural revolution is often seen as a one-step transition from hunter-gatherer societies to farming ones, Smith shows how truly varied the patterns of animal and plant domestication were in different parts of the world.

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About the Author:

Bruce D. Smith is a senior research scientist, director of the archaeobiology program, and curator of North American archaeology at the National Museum of Natural History, Smithsonian Institution.

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Smith, an archaeologist, presents in plain English the story of the emergence of agriculture worldwide, as hunter-gatherers between 10,000-4500 years ago in different regions independently domesticated certain plants and animals. Smith provides a region-by-region examination, starting with the Fertile Crescent of the Mediterranean approximately 10,000 years ago, followed by Europe, Africa, Asia, Middle and South America, and finally North America, where he relates some of his own archaeological investigations. Color photographs and maps help tell the story. There are really two interwoven stories here: the when, where, how, and why of the transition to agriculture, and the investigations and discoveries of researchers attempting to find the answers. Smith explains how several recent technological developments have aided investigators. Another recent nontechnical yet intelligent work dealing with the beginnings of agriculture is the beautifully illustrated People of the Stone Age: Hunter-Gatherers and Early Farmers (LJ 2/1/94). Libraries collecting in this subject area will want both of these books.
William H. Wiese, Iowa State Univ. Lib., Ames
Copyright 1995 Reed Business Information, Inc.

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Other Popular Editions of the Same Title

9780716750550: The Emergence of Agriculture (Scientific American Library)

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ISBN 10:  0716750554 ISBN 13:  9780716750550
Publisher: W H Freeman & Co, 1994
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9780756756109: Emergence of Agriculture

Diane ..., 1998
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