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Stone Age DNA shows hunter-gatherers shunned farming

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posted on May, 15 2014 @ 01:40 AM
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originally posted by: Astyanax
Another point to consider is that the riparian lifestyle wasn't so obviously superior as people now seem to think. The invention of agriculture unbalanced diets, making people unhealthier. The permanent communities agriculture made possible were also perfect breeding-grounds for infectious diseases, parasites and epidemics.

I am not speculating. As some of our archaeological experts here will confirm, skeletons and other evidence from early agricultural communities show signs of stunting, disease, etc. far more than hunter-gatherer remains do.

Another point: in agricultural communities, people had to stay put, follow the punishing routines agriculture imposes on farmers, and obey the orders of religio-political authorities into whose hands the invention of settled, structured communities had put so much more power.

Of course agriculture was resisted. If I'd been around at the time, I'd have resisted it myself.

True but the trade off was reasonably dependable food supply and population growth if water was available,I think though that the disease part came about from mixed agriculturist husbandry and Agro, and yes life may seemed sexier as a hunter moving about with greater freedom,but failure to bring back a kill the women folk start looking at you real funny in not a good kinda way.

Btw there is a theory to which I subscribed to that females were the ones who invented agriculture as typically the males went off to hunt while they stayed behind gathering eatable plants, some bright girl noticed life was much easier just bury the seed or root close to their compound, matter of fact females still remained primary keepers of small gardens, a further tie in to this theory is from this came the mother goddess and the matriarchy.

One more thing Astyanax we wouldn't have BEER! and that would suck.
edit on 15-5-2014 by Spider879 because: (no reason given)




posted on May, 15 2014 @ 03:59 AM
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a reply to: Spider879

Just to correct my error, the tower and main wall structure is in the west of the original settlement, and there is no wall at the eastern side. Doh!



posted on May, 15 2014 @ 04:16 AM
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originally posted by: Astyanax
Another point to consider is that the riparian lifestyle wasn't so obviously superior as people now seem to think. The invention of agriculture unbalanced diets, making people unhealthier. The permanent communities agriculture made possible were also perfect breeding-grounds for infectious diseases, parasites and epidemics.

I am not speculating. As some of our archaeological experts here will confirm, skeletons and other evidence from early agricultural communities show signs of stunting, disease, etc. far more than hunter-gatherer remains do.

Another point: in agricultural communities, people had to stay put, follow the punishing routines agriculture imposes on farmers, and obey the orders of religio-political authorities into whose hands the invention of settled, structured communities had put so much more power.

Of course agriculture was resisted. If I'd been around at the time, I'd have resisted it myself.


I definately feel that the change to agriculture was more of a survival choice, rather than a preferred or better lifestyle, of which the downside was increases in disease. It is difficult though to compare whether there was less disease amongst H/G due to the lack of physical remains and of course, if we compare it to modernish anthropological studies of societies that still practiced H/G then we need to factor in the use of infanticide and geronticide.

The first settled societies seem to have practiced destruction, in fill and rebuild as a means of combatting disease, and it is only as the populations expanded, making this practice untenable, that disease became a factor in the settled lifestyle. The Mesolithic transisitional groups such as those in coastal regions, as well as at Lepenski Vir, do seem to have suffered an adverse response to over reliance on fish and/or sea food, suffering a number of parasitic infections and well as formative disorders associated with too specialist a diet.

Something I find interesting about early religion though, in context with health and hygiene, if you read Herodotus, he describes the Egyptians as the most religious of all the people that he encountered. This conclusion he bases on their cleanliness. Similarly, at a time of pestilence in early Rome, the Sybilline books were consulted and recommended a Februalia. Following which the health of Rome was returned. The basis of many religious rites and rituals focus on cleansing and purging.



posted on May, 15 2014 @ 04:45 AM
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Hmmm makes me wonder if some early pork ban was a decease issue wrapped up in religion.



posted on May, 15 2014 @ 09:41 AM
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a reply to: KilgoreTrout


we need to factor in the use of infanticide and geronticide.

I wasn't meaning to suggest that one lifestyle was better than the other, or making any ethical comparisons. Anyway, we're all more or less civilzed in here, so it's a bit late to grumble. Yes, it surely was scarcity that drove men and/or women to the plough, and into the shackles that now bind all the world.

Young people always run away to the city.



posted on May, 15 2014 @ 03:23 PM
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originally posted by: Astyanax
I wasn't meaning to suggest that one lifestyle was better than the other, or making any ethical comparisons.


Qualitative or ethics are by the by. One of the primary causes of conflict is population growth. H/G had social constraints that not only limited breeding but also selected the fittest, allowing the weak to die in times of hardship or through inherited weakness. They did this by necessity. Settlements permitted care of old, young, weak and the sick.


originally posted by: Astyanax
Yes, it surely was scarcity that drove men and/or women to the plough, and into the shackles that now bind all the world.


It depends very much on perspective. For sure, we may have had more physical freedom had we remained as H/G nomads, but then, the vast majority of us would not actually exist to feel the benefit, our genetic lines having died out millenia ago.



posted on May, 15 2014 @ 08:05 PM
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Maybe the hunter-gatherers ran out of free range meat to eat, and so had to corral their prey into easy to find locations. They would start off by creating trap zones around natural migration choke-points using fences, walls and ditches. Then they discover it's easier just to keep a large herd contained within a valley. This would lead to cattle becoming domesticated.



posted on May, 15 2014 @ 09:51 PM
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a reply to: KilgoreTrout




Qualitative or ethics are by the by. One of the primary causes of conflict is population growth. H/G had social constraints that not only limited breeding but also selected the fittest, allowing the weak to die in times of hardship or through inherited weakness. They did this by necessity. Settlements permitted care of old, young, weak and the sick.


I haven't study the Khoi-San in any meaningful way and maybe their societies underwent some changes due to contact with non Sans but when I view documentaries on them they seemed content to have quite a number of old folks among them,then again what they do when times are tough maybe another story.



posted on May, 15 2014 @ 09:57 PM
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originally posted by: stormcell
Maybe the hunter-gatherers ran out of free range meat to eat, and so had to corral their prey into easy to find locations. They would start off by creating trap zones around natural migration choke-points using fences, walls and ditches. Then they discover it's easier just to keep a large herd contained within a valley. This would lead to cattle becoming domesticated.


Well that would certainly be true for certain bovines and small meat on hooves like goats,penning an African water buffalo is another story.



posted on May, 16 2014 @ 03:40 AM
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originally posted by: stormcell
Maybe the hunter-gatherers ran out of free range meat to eat, and so had to corral their prey into easy to find locations. They would start off by creating trap zones around natural migration choke-points using fences, walls and ditches. Then they discover it's easier just to keep a large herd contained within a valley. This would lead to cattle becoming domesticated.



Changes in weather patterns most certainly affected migratory routes, and this is one of the theories that contributed to the Mesolithic lifestyle, especially those including riparian and littoral zones. However, animal domestication seems to have started on a small scale according to evidence obtained at sites in sub-Saharan regions which during the subpluvial were savannah, and then subsequently, with the movement of the ICTZ became dessicated. There, there is evidence of small groups of wild sheep and goats being kept in small pens in caves. We know that they were wild due to their leg bones showing evidence of trauma consistent with resisting constraint. The young of those first wild captives, and those from other regions who adopted a similar approach and the subsequent generations, were traded widely. The key advantage was that they provided food, milk, blood and cheese, outside of the hunting season which meant that those groups could stay put, rather than move in pursuit of the animals and other food source. At the same time, these people were also digging holes in which to store wild cereal and grass seeds.

As Spider points out, with wild bovines, given their size and formidable horns, it is most likely that they were domesticated via captured orphan young, probably after the mother had been hunted down, and tamed in that way.



posted on May, 16 2014 @ 03:46 AM
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originally posted by: Spider879
I haven't study the Khoi-San in any meaningful way and maybe their societies underwent some changes due to contact with non Sans but when I view documentaries on them they seemed content to have quite a number of old folks among them,then again what they do when times are tough maybe another story.


'Old folks' are an essential part of any human group and anthropologists have theorised that it was the increase in longevity that really kick started our technological development. Having grandparents around to help raise children freed up more time and physical resources, as well as allowed for the passing on of acquired knowledge so that it can be developed by subsequent generations. The context that I raised geronticide and infanticide was as a means of maintaining a nomadic lifestyle. When those, old or young, due to illness or physical infirmity are unable to keep up with the rest of the group.



posted on May, 17 2014 @ 08:40 AM
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a reply to: KilgoreTrout


The context that I raised geronticide and infanticide was as a means of maintaining a nomadic lifestyle. When those, old or young, due to illness or physical infirmity are unable to keep up with the rest of the group.

An argument that would make the settled life look more attractive to the old, and perhaps to mothers. It would have less appeal for fit males.




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