The Agricultural Revolution in Prehistory: Why Did Foragers Become Farmers?

The Agricultural Revolution in Prehistory: Why Did Foragers Become Farmers?

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By (author) Graeme Barker

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  • Publisher: Oxford University Press
  • Format: Paperback | 616 pages
  • Dimensions: 156mm x 232mm x 32mm | 1,120g
  • Publication date: 25 March 2009
  • Publication City/Country: Oxford
  • ISBN 10: 0199559953
  • ISBN 13: 9780199559954
  • Illustrations note: 138 in-text illustrations
  • Sales rank: 423,333

Product description

The Agricultural Revolution in Prehistory addresses one of the most debated and least understood revolutions in the history of our species, the change from hunting and gathering to farming. Graeme Barker takes a global view, and integrates a massive array of information from archaeology and many other disciplines, including anthropology, botany, climatology, genetics, linguistics, and zoology. Against current orthodoxy, Barker develops a strong case for the development of agricultural systems in many areas as transformations in the life-ways of the indigenous forager societies, and argues that these were as much changes in social norms and ideologies as in ways of obtaining food. With a large number of helpful line drawings and photographs as well as a comprehensive bibliography, this authoritative study will appeal to a wide general readership as well as to specialists in a variety of fields.

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Author information

Graeme Barker is Disney Professor of Archaeology, and Director of the McDonald Institute for Archaeological Research, University of Cambridge.

Review quote

...a masterpiece of interdisciplinary synthesis, which encompasses all parts of the world, not just well-researched areas...He puts today's all-embracing, and often popular, theories in a much more sophisticated context. This important and erudite work will surely become a classic... Brian Fagan, European Journal of Archaeology a magisterial survey on a global scale Peter Bogucki,

Table of contents

1. Approaches to the origins of agriculture ; 2. Understanding foragers ; 3. Identifying foragers and farmers ; 4. The 'hearth of domestication'? Transitions to farming in South-West Asia ; 5. Central and South Asia: the wheat/rice frontier ; 6. Rice and forest farming in East and South-East Asia ; 7. Weed, tuber, and maize farming in the Americas ; 8. Africa: Afro-Asiatic pastoralists and Bantu farmers? ; 9. Transitions to farming in Europe: ex oriente lux? ; 10. The agricultural revolution in prehistory: why did foragers become farmers?