Evolution of Agriculture
Agriculture has no single, simple origin. A wide variety of plants and animals have been independently domesticated at different times and in numerous places. The first agriculture appears to have developed at the closing of the last Pleistocene glacial period, or Ice Age (about 11,700 years ago). At that time temperatures warmed, glaciers melted, sea levels rose, and ecosystems throughout the world reorganized. The changes were more dramatic in temperate regions than in the tropics.
Although global climate change played a role in the development of agriculture, it does not account for the complex and diverse cultural responses that ensued, the specific timing of the appearance of agricultural communities in different regions, or the specific regional impact of climate change on local environments. By studying populations that did not develop intensive agriculture or certain cultigens, such as wheat and rice, archaeologists narrow the search for causes.
Plant and animal management was and is a familiar concept within hunting and gathering cultures, but it took on new dimensions as natural selection and mutation produced phenotypes that were increasingly reliant upon people. Because some resource management practices, such as intensively tending nondomesticated nut-bearing trees, bridge the boundary between foraging and farming, archaeologists investigating agricultural origins generally frame their work in terms of a continuum of subsistence practices.
Global Journal of Agricultural Economics and Econometrics (GJAEE), is a peer-reviewed, open access journal that provides rapid publication (monthly) of articles in all areas of Agricultural Economics and Econometrics and related disciplines.