Early Farming and Domestication

Graeme Barker

in The Oxford Handbook of Archaeology

Published in print March 2009 | ISBN: 9780199271016
Published online September 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Handbooks in Archaeology

 Early Farming and Domestication

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  • Classical Studies
  • History and Theory of Archaeology


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This article examines the history of early farming and domestication from archaeological perspective. It discusses the foraging-farming continuum, the time-scales of domestication, and agricultural dispersals. It suggests that the climatic and environmental changes associated with the transition from the Pleistocene to the Holocene periods and then subsequent fluctuations were key factors underpinning the development of agricultural societies in prehistory. It explains that these changes had huge impacts on the distribution, density, and predictability of food resources, to which people had to adapt.

Keywords: farming; domestication; foraging-farming continuum; agricultural dispersals; climatic changes; environmental changes; Pleistocene; Holocene; food resources

Article.  14545 words. 

Subjects: Classical Studies ; History and Theory of Archaeology

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