• The Domestication of Plants and Animals - the history of agriculture and pastoralism

    Rochelle Forrester (see profile)
    Historical theory and the philosophy of history
    Item Type:
    plant genetics, animal genetics, earliest plants domesticated, earliest animals domesticated, guns germs and steel, history of agriculture, history of pastoralism, domestication of plants, domestication of animals, proto agriculture
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    The ultimate cause of much historical, social and cultural change is the gradual accumulation of human knowledge of the environment. Human beings use the materials in their environment, including plants and animals, to meet their needs and increased human knowledge of the plants and animals in their environment enables human needs to be met in a more efficient manner. The plants and animals in the human environment have particular properties caused by their genetic make-up and these properties make some plants and animals more suitable for domestication than others. Humans learnt which were the best plants to domesticate, and how to cultivate them, in a particular order with the easiest crops to domesticate being domesticated first and with agricultural techniques improving over time as human knowledge increased. They also learnt which animals could be domesticated and how to use and control them in a particular order with the easiest to domesticate, being domesticated first, and the harder to domesticate being domesticated later. The knowledge of how to use and control domesticated animals, improved over time, with the simplest techniques being learnt first and more complicated techniques being learnt later. The order of discovery determines the course of human social and cultural history as knowledge of new and more efficient means of meeting human needs, such as agriculture and pastoralism, results in the development of new social and ideological systems. This means human social and cultural history, has to follow a particular course, a course that is determined by the properties of the materials, such as plants and animals, in the human environment.
    Last Updated:
    4 years ago


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