Pre-industrial agriculture

I. G. Simmons

in Global Environmental History

Published by Edinburgh University Press

Published in print March 2008 | ISBN: 9780748621583
Published online September 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780748670765 | DOI:
Pre-industrial agriculture

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The development of agriculture after about 10,000 BC produced human-directed genetics and environments. Though fire was still used, solar energy was garnered from more concentrated sources as crops and domestic animals. Wind and water power were also harnessed. Outside the cultivable areas, pastoralism might tap wild vegetation with tame animals. Emphasis was placed on extending the productive area in order to feed growing populations and demanding elites. Stratification permeates the structures of society and in parallel the natural world becomes classified into types of resource. Not all of these are for subsistence since pleasure gardens and hunting reserves appear. The invention of writing further confers power on selected elites and also allows worldviews to be transmitted which confirm an hierarchy of the world in which humans are exceptional and entitled to the use of the rest of Earth's materials.

Keywords: Domestication; Stratification; Solar energy; Literacy; Exceptionalism; Hierarchy

Chapter.  29302 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Prehistoric Archaeology

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