oasis theory

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Vere Gordon Childe (1892—1957) prehistorian and labour theorist


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A general theory explaining the development of agriculture and the Neolithic way of life that was first put forward by Pumpelly in 1908, reiterated by Newberry in 1924, and popularized by Gordon Childe, in the 1920s. Simply stated, the argument runs that, as the climate got warmer and drier in the early post‐glacial period, people, plants, and animals became concentrated in relatively few and increasingly restricted fertile areas. The symbiosis that developed included the ‘domestication’ of plants and animals through the manipulation of their production and reproduction. The model has largely been abandoned, however, because there is little evidence of major desiccation in the required period.

Subjects: Archaeology.

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