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The Transition from Hunting to Herding 10,000 years ago

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posted on Apr, 30 2014 @ 08:22 PM
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While this is nothing earth-shattering, I thought the method used in making this discovery was pretty clever.

Zooarchaeologists with the University of Arizona have authored a paper shedding light on the transition by early man from hunting-gathering to a settled agrarian society. At the site of Aşıklı Höyük, along the Melendiz River in Turkey, shows that between 9,500 and 10,500 years ago there was a transition from hunting and gathering to farming and herding. But this conclusion was not based on ruins or tools or the things we normally associate with archeological discoveries, rather it was based on the nature of the animal bones uncovered.


Earlier layers of the settlement contain botanical remains related to the cultivation of cereals, lentils, and nuts, and the bones of a wide variety of wild animals. But, according to zooarchaeologist Mary Stiner of the University of Arizona, by 10,200 years ago, fewer wild animal bones and more sheep bones are found. By 9,500 years ago, nearly 90 percent of the bones unearthed at the site were coming from sheep. And, the ages and sex patterns of the bones, even though they still resembled the bones of wild sheep, suggest that they came from a managed herd. Dung deposits from the stabled sheep were discovered between the houses of the settlement. Stiner and her team suggest that the wild sheep were probably less aggressive than other animals and so early farmers kept them in the village as a matter of convenience.


Turkey is host to a number of ancient built ruins, predating much of the rest of the world. (Göbekli Tepe, Çatalhöyük, etc.)




posted on Apr, 30 2014 @ 08:47 PM
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a reply to: Blackmarketeer

The real question is, why did they keep the sheep so close to home? was it for convenience, or did they just enjoy the company


Very interesting article OP, thanks for sharing. This moment in our history was a great turning point for our species and it deserves more research. There were many reasons for our domesticating of livestock and plants, but why at this particular time? Some say it was probably the changing of the environment, but I think it may have had something to do with particular cultures moving around and sharing tools and techniques. It may also have been that after the deluge it was a struggle to put the pieces of lost knowledge together and we are only seeing the various pieces of a much broader puzzle.

Any links to the articles or webpages where you found this story?
edit on 30-4-2014 by Quauhtli because: ...



posted on Apr, 30 2014 @ 08:54 PM
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a reply to: Blackmarketeer

Interesting that they seem to have documented that transition, but how it happened there or undoubtedly elsewhere a thousand times over is not a puzzle. I personally assume that it is far incorrect in speculating that change in human lifestyle happened only a mere 10k years ago. Maybe there in an isolated population, but not the first time for the world over.

Hunters kill animals. Some animals have young ones that are left orphans which the hunters take along with the meat back to the tribe. There, the children find the animals, virtually regardless of kind, cute and attractive because of the large eyes, playful and harmless ways. These pets were originally were wolf-type animals that become domesticated as dogs. The process followed through for other animals all the way up to elephants, etc. No mystery there, only verification.


edit on 30-4-2014 by Aliensun because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 30 2014 @ 08:59 PM
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a reply to: Blackmarketeer

Ah yes domestic animal morphology vs wild animals. I remembered when that was realized.

Domestication



posted on Apr, 30 2014 @ 11:31 PM
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a reply to: Quauhtli

My mistake, here are the links:

How Sheep Became Livestock
(sciencemag.org)

From Hunting to Herding in Turkey
(archaeology.org)



posted on Apr, 30 2014 @ 11:32 PM
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a reply to: Hanslune

Thanks for the links



posted on May, 1 2014 @ 12:29 AM
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a reply to: Blackmarketeer

My pleasure I did some work on domesticated goat remains taken from a disused well at the Kalavassos site- nice layering of bones and other remains, a very good time capsule of how what they were eating, always about 10% wild ones while the rest were two breeds of domesticated. To bad we did not have DNA testing then.



posted on May, 1 2014 @ 01:11 AM
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So basically, this type of morphology can determine when a herd of animals became domesticated, transitioning from wild to one where animal husbandry was clearly in use? Obviously one of the first stepping stone to transform humans from hunter-gatherers to a pastoral lifestyle would be the ability to manage a herd of livestock.



posted on May, 1 2014 @ 04:22 AM
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The event you're describing may possibly be the worst thing to ever happen to the human species. With the transition from hunter-gatherers to herder-farmers came the advent of property. More specifically, the estrangement from and quantification of nature, and therefore an interest in controlling/manipulating it. From there flow our concepts of money and ownership, as well as subjugation and war.

"Agriculture has been and remains a catastrophe at all levels, the one which underpins the entire material and spiritual culture of alienation now destroying us. Liberation is impossible without its dissolution."
-John Zerzan



posted on May, 1 2014 @ 09:02 AM
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The reason for the change wasnt so much human evolution but climate. 10000 years ago the ice age was melting off, there were mega tsunamis caused by the rushing melt waters that entered the Gulf of Mexico which in turn changed the jet streams, ocean flows as to have caused unstable weather for hundreds if not thousands of years. Climate stability allowed man to leave the survival mode and progress to a more stabile civilization which did not need to move every so often.

We seem to gloss over that the earth was quite harsh for mankind for 30000 years and it wasnt till the last 10000 years that it became stable.

Did you know that the ice sheets in Canada and the U.s reached heights of 2-3 miles thick and it all vanished. To say this did not have a cataclysmic affect upon mankind would be quite ignorant. Some say population of man dropped to less than 2000 world wide.
edit on 1-5-2014 by Shadow Herder because: (no reason given)



posted on May, 1 2014 @ 11:08 AM
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a reply to: Shadow Herder

Thanks. Was about to bring that up.

S&



posted on May, 1 2014 @ 12:21 PM
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originally posted by: Shadow Herder

We seem to gloss over that the earth was quite harsh for mankind for 30000 years and it wasnt till the last 10000 years that it became stable.

What evidence do you have of that?

The idea that pre-agrarian human life was "nasty, brutish and short" is a lie told to morally justify our own social structures and technology.



posted on May, 1 2014 @ 09:41 PM
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a reply to: NthOther

Abrupt cooling about 15,000 years ago gives way to abrupt warming at the end of the Younger Dryas period some 11,600 years ago, with a climatic ripple effect impacting habitats around the world.

Can you imagine living in 40 below temperatures that would last years and years without electricity or fossil fuels? You cant, 30 000 years ago the neanderthals met their demise, could it have been due to climate or mabey a virus from contact with africans or others.


As you can see on the graph that the last 30 thousands years were a mess.
edit on 1-5-2014 by Shadow Herder because: (no reason given)



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