How did Agriculture Develop?

Texel - Bakkenweg - View NE on field of Barley / Gerst

Field of Barley


The rise of agriculture is a complex topic but from what we do know the earliest region to witness the domestication of plants and animals was in the Fertile Crescent region of the Near East, spanning modern-day Iraq, Syria, western Iran, southern Turkey, Lebanon, Jordan, and Israel (Figure 1). [1]

The rise of agriculture is so significant that the earliest cereal crops and animals domesticate still form the basis of agriculture in many countries today. This includes the domestication of sheep, goats, pigs, cattle, dogs, donkeys, onager, wheat, barley, oats, and others. Many of these varieties of plants and animals were domesticated between 12,000-9000 years ago.[2]

Genetics in animals and plants are very different, and these differences make domestication more complicated in plants than in animals. In particular, wild varieties of cereals, such as wheat and barley, can be grown for many generations with only minor or subtle differences noticeable even when humans select and replant those cereals that are best suited for their food needs. This could perhaps partially be explained that plants that are subtly different from their wild progenitors can still bread with them, slowing the process of change down.[3]

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Categories: History of Food

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