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Early Farmers

8 August 2016

At http://popular-archaeology.com/issue/summer-2016/article/population-boom… … domesticated plants and animals are part of everyday life but they represent a unique change in the way of life of humans, allowing large numbers of people to live in one place. How did farming take off in the Americas – 5000 years ago? In this study it was preceded by a population boom, they claim, which led, relentlessly, to a shortage of food as there were more mouths to feed. This rather simplistic theory goes on by saying this led to people seeking out other means of producing food (rather than relying on what could be picked from the vine). Wild food, it is thought, can only feed a small population, yet the BBC had a programme last week on the West Coast Indians (Alaska and British Columbia) and they existed on wild foods alone (lots of salmon, wild berries, and a vareity of other foods). They had a developed civilisation and had no need to take up farming. Their numbers were severely reduced by smallpox during the 19th century gold rush – but prior to that date they had given the Russian fur traders a run for their money and were able to exist even when deprived of their most important settlement sites. The date of 3000BC also has a catastrophic connection – ignored by the theorists in this paper. It involved a prolonged cool and wet phase in some locations and dry and drought ridden in other locations. It may also have involved landscape fires – and what food shoots from the earth first? Grasses, and in a very short time, their seeds. Case still open.

Over at http://phys.org/print389526475.html … the subject is early farming in Europe while at www.smithsonianmag.com/smart-news/new-president-makes=first-formal-apolo… / … is one of those virtue signalling empty political gestures, at first sight. The new president's paternal grandmother was of indigenous Taiwanese descent and on the face of it this looks like a very sincere act. However, the indigenous people appear to be somewhat naive as it is thought an ulterior motif lies behind the apology. In accepting the indigenous right to Taiwan they were actually undermining China's claim on the island (formerly Formosa).

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