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Encyclopedia > Origins of agriculture

The term origins of agriculture is used principally by archaeologists to describe the processes involved in the transition from subsistence strategies based on the collection of wild plant and animal resources to strategies based on the cultivation of domestic plants and the keeping of domestic animals. This transition -- the Neolithic Revolution -- is one of the most profound in the history of modern humans. Without agriculture, the emergence of many of the traits that part of what is popularly referred to as civilization were not possible (e.g. cities, advanced technology, social hierarchies, organized warfare, etc.). The documentation and interpretation of the natural and social changes associated with the origins of agriculture is one of the great success stories of archaeology (particulary environmental archaeology). The chronology, social foundations, plant genetics, plant morphology and selective mechanisms of humans, and the processes of the spread of agriculture have been documented by archaeologists in many parts of the world where agriculture first arose (e.g. the fertile crescent, Mesoamerica, South Asia, India, Southeast Asia).


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Agriculture - Academic Kids (2341 words)
Agriculture is the process of producing food, feed, fiber and other desired products by the cultivation of certain plants and the raising of domesticated animals (livestock).
Agriculture is also short for the study of the practice of agriculture—more formally known as agricultural science.
Although localised climate change is the favoured explanation for the origins of agriculture in the Levant, the fact that farming was 'invented' at least three times, possibly more, suggests that social reasons may have been instrumental.
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