Rethinking the history of agriculture with sustainability in mind

Authored by: Jeremy L. Caradonna

Routledge Handbook of the History of Sustainability

Print publication date:  October  2017
Online publication date:  October  2017

Print ISBN: 9781138685796
eBook ISBN: 9781315543017
Adobe ISBN:

10.4324/9781315543017.ch25

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Abstract

The history of agriculture forms the backbone of the origin story that our culture has been telling itself for ages. The story goes something like this. Agriculture was founded in Mesopotamia, along the fertile Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, both of which originate in modern-day Turkey and meander through the Middle East, before spilling into the Persian Gulf. The decision to domesticate grasses and legumes was an ingenious response to the climatic fluctuations at the end of the last Ice Age. The main changes took place between 13,000 and 9,500 years ago, as nomadic scavengers slowly became more sedentary, less reliant on hunted foods, and more inclined to domesticate animals on a new invention called the farm.

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