John A. Mears

in The Oxford Handbook of World History

Published in print March 2011 | ISBN: 9780199235810
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191744051 | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in History


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When striving to delineate the contours of the human experience, world historians must highlight the major turning points in the existence of our species. Among the momentous watersheds through which human beings have passed since their appearance over 100,000 years ago, none has been more profound in its consequences than the shift from hunting and gathering to agriculture, a form of subsistence usually defined as different combinations of systematic crop cultivation and livestock raising. This article explains agricultural origins, recurring agricultural patterns in the post-classic world, and the industrialization of modern agriculture.

Keywords: agricultural origins; modern agriculture; industrialization; crop cultivation; livestock raising

Article.  8049 words. 

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