Chapter

The domestication of the earth

Ian Simmons

in A Century of British Geography

Published by British Academy

Published in print September 2003 | ISBN: 9780197262863
Published online February 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780191734076 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.5871/bacad/9780197262863.003.0005

Series: British Academy Centenary Monographs

The domestication of the earth

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The domestication of the earth entails the enfolding of ‘nature’ into human life and society. This chapter focuses on the millennia of the Holocene, when human societies consisted of food collectors and agriculturalists who essentially lived off recently fixed solar energy. In the course of its last 100 years, geography has from time to time taken in, and focused its attention on, diverse approaches to its subject matter. But as a ground bass to these variations, the relation between humans and the environment has persisted, though sometimes virtually at sotto voce level. In part, geography's attention has concentrated on landscapes as visible demonstrations, past and present, of these interrelations, but it has also taken an approach based explicitly on late-twentieth-century ecological theory. This chapter examines humans as hunter-gatherers during prehistoric times, along with the emergence of agriculture in Britain.

Keywords: Britain; domestication; humans; environment; agriculture; hunter-gatherers; Holocene; nature; geography

Chapter.  12975 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Population and Demography

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