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Essay on Origins of Agriculture: the stepping stone for civilization

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Most people do not think highly of the farmer and of agriculture in general. After all, there is no "visible" connection between the rural and the urban life. As long as the food is on the table or in the market, agriculture is simply not important to most people. However, not that many people think that school, sports, movies, and society would not be possible without agriculture. Agriculture was a crucial science that gave rise to the earliest of settlements and allowed humans to grow. Agriculture began around the same time in different areas around the world and with agriculture came the very start of modern civilization. Yet how did agriculture begin, why was the beginning of agriculture linked to the beginning of civilization and where were some of the areas that agriculture took place?
While agriculture originated in several different places, it all began practically the same way and all resulted in settlements and, eventually, society. It almost seems impossible that a few seeds and plants could result in the creation of society. However, it is actually not that far off from the truth. While different areas did have different plants, diets, domestic animals, and agricultural practices, all agriculture seemed to have began around ten thousand years ago, in an era known as the "Neolithic Revolution". During this time, the glaciers from the recent Ice Age melted and the warm weather and fertile soil created the ideal conditions for agriculture. Although the precise details have never been agreed upon, the general consensus is that agriculture happened through trial and error. Hunter-gatherers appeared to have simply stumbled onto the fact that they could grow plants and improved upon this process until they could effectively...


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...nd allowed others to specialize in other advancements. As agriculture began to spread, cities began to appear all over the globe. In essence, the origin of agriculture was pretty much the origin of civilization.



Works Cited

Bellwood, P.S. (2005). The first farmers: The origins of agricultural societies. Malden, MA: Blackwell Pub.
Clark, J.D. (1984). From Hunters to Farmers. Berkeley and Los Angeles, California: University of California Press.
Harris, D. (1996). The origins and spread of agriculture and pastoralism in Eurasia. Abingdon, Oxon: UCL Press.
Rice, S.A. (2009). Green planet: how plants keep the Earth alive. New Brunswick, N.J: Rutgers University Press.
Tauger, M. (2010). Agriculture in world history. New York, NY: Routledge.
Wessel, T. (1984). The Agricultural Foundations of Civilization. Bring Agriculture into the Social Sciences, 1, 9-12.


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