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What are the highest limits of Hunter/Gatherer society? Atlantis

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posted on Oct, 13 2013 @ 05:38 PM
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I have been intrigued at the thought that Hunter gatherers could have achieved far more than we previously thought: first and foremost because Humans are in fact carnivores with an ability to survive on plants, but we thrive on meat. Spending months in the wilderness for my job, I noticed something, I can find 1,000 pounds of meat before I ever find one tomato, or potato, (I've actually found wild onions before but not many).

So when we say "Hunter Gatherer" we should probably just say "Hunter". These people lived off game.

But what really interests me is a very abundant area of game could support more population than previously thought, right? We already know that some cities predate agriculture and had at least 7,000 people (Jericho), so what would be the highest limits?

I like to imagine that Atlantis was a city of grandeur but fed by hunters, a network of hunting that ranged farther than any other in history, I believe Atlantis was built in the Mediterranean Basin, the ancient Nod of the Bible, and this basin was full of animals more than anywhere else in the Earth. Historically, the Basin would have been the most well watered region on the planet. Because of it being an ancient seabed it also would have been the most fertile. While the ice crowned the north, the mediterranean would have flourished as a garden full of the most wild beasts.

A battle ground for man and wild, where they could bring in tens of thousands of pounds of meat in weekly to feed a huge population.

Like the hub of a wheel, Atlantis would be fed by tributaries of hunter communities like spokes and rivers branching into the wild hunting game, salting them (with the abundant salt from the dried up sea) and preserving them.

We know historically that hunters and farmers lived side by side, farming was not an improvement that all sought. I think hunting is religious, people still hunt today not for sport but for communication with nature. Think about it, hunting a stag, what it means as a man of humanity to hunt a man of the Elk?

So the ancient Hunters would have religiously clung to the idea of hunting over that of farming, and maybe even have shunned farming as inferior.

So the Atlanteans could have been some awesome predatory race.

Economically tho, how much land would be needed for a city to be a certain size? Could the city be 30,000? 50,000?

Could there be more than one city?

Would hunters clear meadows and other habitats for game, to increase the supply?

Questions for thought.



posted on Oct, 13 2013 @ 05:58 PM
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reply to post by FreeMason
 


..or just an imaginery one.

If you are interested in this subject its been the subject of a number of studies. In Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel, chapter five+ he discusses this subject.

Hunters and HGs are always one failed hunt away from stravation what makes farming and pastoralism better is a steady food supply. Most hunting tribes live on the work of the women who gather most of the actual food and process it. There are exceptions expecially in extreme environments where not much food can be gathered (ie, the Arctic)

Higgs and Jarman looked at this too, but I cannot find their study at this moment.

There is also this study

Another study looks at HG to farmer transitions

World's worse mistake?

Did we make a mistaken becoming farmers?

Some very useful charts and tables in the source above

Yeah American Indians use to burn the undergrowth and I believe other groups used similar adaptive tricks.


edit on 13/10/13 by Hanslune because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 13 2013 @ 06:06 PM
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Hanslune
reply to post by FreeMason
 


..or just an imaginery one.

If you are interested in this subject its been the subject of a number of studies. In Diamond's Guns, Germs, and Steel, chapter five+ he discusses this subject.

Hunters and HGs are always one failed hunt away from stravation what makes farming and pastoralism better is a steady food supply. Most hunting tribes live on the work of the women who gather most of the actual food and process it. There are exceptions expecially in extreme environments where not much food can be gathered (ie, the Arctic)

Higgs and Jarman looked at this too, but I cannot find their study at this moment.

There is also this study

Another study looks at HG to farmer transitions

World's worse mistake?

Did we make a mistaken becoming farmers?

Some very useful charts and tables in the source above



I disagree, one hunted Elk today can feed a person for a whole year and that's just the flesh, excluding organs and marrow, the issue is one of preservation. If a society can preserve the meat, then hunting is extremely profitable and is not in any way "one failure away from starvation".

In the Ice Age, ice being abundant, the ability to freeze and preserve meat is even more high, given that Yakhchals are ancient ice houses, arguably the Atlanteans even if in the Mediterranean wouldn't have had to go far to gather ice for such ice houses and preserve their meat for months or more.

It looks like you gave me some good info going both ways about the argument, I read your last link, but here's a take on my views about agriculture.

Cities already existing had the power and force to compel persons to become farmers in that city's "hinterland", and this was a force by that city to keep a person in servitude to grow a single crop and etc. Sure farmers would leave that system and just simply spread on their own, taking their worldview. But it was more likely imposed by the city first. At least that's my argument. Because if you look at the relation to the Farmer to the City it is always as a colonized to an imperial power.

That is to say the farmer is the colonial subject of an imperial city.

This is, to make an economic argument, due to their reduced buying power because of their over-specialization in one economic area...agriculture.



posted on Oct, 13 2013 @ 06:20 PM
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FreeMason


I disagree, one hunted Elk today can feed a person for a whole year and that's just the flesh, excluding organs and marrow, the issue is one of preservation. If a society can preserve the meat, then hunting is extremely profitable and is not in any way "one failure away from starvation".


If they can preserve it for the 90% of the people who don't live near ice and live in hot areas where most population appears to have been in ancient times. They had to develop other methods of preservation, unfortunated even dried food then becomes something they have to carry and protect - always a problem before pottery - which with good seals is insect proof.


It looks like you gave me some good info going both ways about the argument, I read your last link, but here's a take on my views about agriculture.


Its a matter of great debate however stravation or hunger times for hunters is much more likely than for HG, pastoralist or farmers - who of course can also starve


Cities already existing had the power and force to compel persons to become farmers in that city's "hinterland", and this was a force by that city to keep a person in servitude to grow a single crop and etc. Sure farmers would leave that system and just simply spread on their own, taking their worldview. But it was more likely imposed by the city first. At least that's my argument. Because if you look at the relation to the Farmer to the City it is always as a colonized to an imperial power.


Farmers existed before cities, cities appear to have developed along river farming areas due to a need for somebody to organize the irrigation channels and manage the massive work necessary for this. Farmers not in river valleys didn't particularly need that development. The first civilizations grew up along rivers for just this reason.

Polynesians didn't do cities and had a sedentiary HG/farming culture...however I have just run out of time will back later..



posted on Oct, 13 2013 @ 06:28 PM
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Hanslune

FreeMason


I disagree, one hunted Elk today can feed a person for a whole year and that's just the flesh, excluding organs and marrow, the issue is one of preservation. If a society can preserve the meat, then hunting is extremely profitable and is not in any way "one failure away from starvation".


If they can preserve it for the 90% of the people who don't live near ice and live in hot areas where most population appears to have been in ancient times. They had to develop other methods of preservation, unfortunated even dried food then becomes something they have to carry and protect - always a problem before pottery - which with good seals is insect proof.


It looks like you gave me some good info going both ways about the argument, I read your last link, but here's a take on my views about agriculture.


Its a matter of great debate however stravation or hunger times for hunters is much more likely than for HG, pastoralist or farmers - who of course can also starve


Cities already existing had the power and force to compel persons to become farmers in that city's "hinterland", and this was a force by that city to keep a person in servitude to grow a single crop and etc. Sure farmers would leave that system and just simply spread on their own, taking their worldview. But it was more likely imposed by the city first. At least that's my argument. Because if you look at the relation to the Farmer to the City it is always as a colonized to an imperial power.


Farmers existed before cities, cities appear to have developed along river farming areas due to a need for somebody to organize the irrigation channels and manage the massive work necessary for this. Farmers not in river valleys didn't particularly need that development. The first civilizations grew up along rivers for just this reason.

Polynesians didn't do cities and had a sedentiary HG/farming culture...however I have just run out of time will back later..



The preservation methods are more than just ice, salting, smoking, and then there are refrigeration methods using pots in the ground surrounded by stones and water which the evaporation process keeps the pot very cold. I mean there are a LOT of ingenious ways to preserve meats. The question is...did they preserve them or not?

It is pretty solid evidence for argument that I find that Cities predated farming, but I won't make a 100% claim, I'll have to dig out from a dust bin a book on the matter before I go into further discussion on that because the internet is short of resources on it. All I can find is about "Goebekli tepe" which is impressive but not a city. Not only that tho, but the majority of the world's oldest cities surround the Mediterranean. en.wikipedia.org...

The world's oldest cities in fact are all located near to the Mediterranean. As if that area itself had an urbanized people which fanned out from an area in the basin itself.



posted on Oct, 13 2013 @ 06:30 PM
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Actually I'd like to mention that the entire premise of this thread is to make the argument that Hunter Gatherers could in fact urbanize


So one question which must be settled, is how much food can be hunted in a given area...I will start looking for some evidence.



posted on Oct, 13 2013 @ 07:02 PM
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reply to post by FreeMason
 


Where is Atlantis again?

There's more problems with your theory.

Hunter gathers can't stay in one place... They migrate between a network of places or just move on when the resources have been exhausted.

Easier to find meat than plants? In extreme cold climates sure. Most hunter gathers diet consisted of vegetables, fruits, and nuts not meat.

Hunting came after gathering and then came agriculture....



posted on Oct, 13 2013 @ 07:21 PM
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reply to post by FreeMason
 


Agriculture has been around for over 12k years. How old are the oldest cities?
What your saying would mean society created agriculture, but its the other way around agriculture created society.



posted on Oct, 13 2013 @ 07:45 PM
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reply to post by FreeMason
 


Hunter gatherers traveled with the herds and the herds traveled with the plant growth. How large of a population can be sustained on any one herd? That depends on the size of the herd.

Can we consider people who live by the waters edge a true hunter gatherer culture? Are fishing villages hunter gatherers? If you are not moving as the food moves, I don't think it is right to say you are a hunter gatherer - you're just a farmer then.



posted on Oct, 13 2013 @ 08:08 PM
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Bleeeeep
reply to post by FreeMason
 


Hunter gatherers traveled with the herds and the herds traveled with the plant growth. How large of a population can be sustained on any one herd? That depends on the size of the herd.

Can we consider people who live by the waters edge a true hunter gatherer culture? Are fishing villages hunter gatherers? If you are not moving as the food moves, I don't think it is right to say you are a hunter gatherer - you're just a farmer then.


I think its somewhat of a misnomer that you can't have hunter gatherers living in civilized settlements. The Iroquois, specifically the Mohawk who lived at Caughnewaga, had a permanent year round settlement. They hunted game in the area which was plentiful, fished out of the Mohawk River as well as having very bountiful harvests of corn, potato, beans, squash etc. and supplemented it all with local nuts and berries. They utilized every aspect of the environment they could and thrived there until the 100 years War spilled over into N. America. The Iroquois are text book HG's. Some species don't travel in large migrational herds like Bison. White Tailed Deer are pretty plentiful in the North East and were even more so a few hundred years ago and they tend to be born and live in a fairly regional zone without a lot of migrational movement. This is certainly in contrast to the Plains tribes for example or some current HG's in Africa or S. America but I wouldn't say that by any means you're not an HG if you have a stable fortified area to call home. It has more to do with location and resources. If the resources are stable so are you. If your resources move across vast distances then likewise so do the people they sustain.



posted on Oct, 13 2013 @ 08:45 PM
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reply to post by peter vlar
 


Am I a hunter gatherer if I do not farm food or tend to live stock?

I hunt the shelves of walmart for my food.

How fair is it to call it hunter gatherer if they have a permanent settlement? If it is okay to say I am not a hunter gatherer, than neither were your Iroquois people. In practice, they were just going to the market to fetch their food, just as I do, or just as a farmer does as he goes to the corral, right?

I think you have to be a nomad to be a hunter gatherer.



posted on Oct, 13 2013 @ 09:20 PM
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Bleeeeep
reply to post by peter vlar
 


Am I a hunter gatherer if I do not farm food or tend to live stock?

I hunt the shelves of walmart for my food.

How fair is it to call it hunter gatherer if they have a permanent settlement? If it is okay to say I am not a hunter gatherer, than neither were your Iroquois people. In practice, they were just going to the market to fetch their food, just as I do, or just as a farmer does as he goes to the corral, right?

I think you have to be a nomad to be a hunter gatherer.


And I think you're being ridiculous in your analogy. Comparing hunting and foraging to shopping at Walmart is asinine and we both know it. In anthropology there is no need to be nomadic to be considered a hunter gatherer. Obtaining the majority of your sustanence from hunting and foraging makes you so. I encourage you to learn a little more about the iroqouois before you accuse them of simply going to market. There were no market areas in or near Caughnewaga until the arrival of the Dutch. And even then the closest market was a dozen miles down river near Sir William Johnson's manor near what is now Amsterdam Ny. You can think it imperative to be nomadic to be an HG but
It doesn't make it so.



posted on Oct, 13 2013 @ 09:48 PM
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peter vlar

Bleeeeep
reply to post by peter vlar
 


Am I a hunter gatherer if I do not farm food or tend to live stock?

I hunt the shelves of walmart for my food.

How fair is it to call it hunter gatherer if they have a permanent settlement? If it is okay to say I am not a hunter gatherer, than neither were your Iroquois people. In practice, they were just going to the market to fetch their food, just as I do, or just as a farmer does as he goes to the corral, right?

I think you have to be a nomad to be a hunter gatherer.


And I think you're being ridiculous in your analogy. Comparing hunting and foraging to shopping at Walmart is asinine and we both know it. In anthropology there is no need to be nomadic to be considered a hunter gatherer. Obtaining the majority of your sustanence from hunting and foraging makes you so. I encourage you to learn a little more about the iroqouois before you accuse them of simply going to market. There were no market areas in or near Caughnewaga until the arrival of the Dutch. And even then the closest market was a dozen miles down river near Sir William Johnson's manor near what is now Amsterdam Ny. You can think it imperative to be nomadic to be an HG but
It doesn't make it so.


If I may add my 0.02, I believe his Walmart analogy is relevant here. A gatherer, gathers food (berries, nuts, fruit, insect, honey, etc...), right? Well when you go to a modern grocery store (such as a Super Walmart), are you not "gathering" your food in the same manner (instead of plucking it off a bush, you pluck it off a shelf). I think that was the crux of that argument, not that they went out to a "market" to get their food. The majority of modern civilization could be categorized as gatherers now. The percentage of people that hunt for their own food, or grow their own food is a definite minority on the whole.

SPECULATION
I wonder, if the stationary hunting society suggested by the OP preceded the farming aspect in this manner. Imagine you are a stationary hunter/gatherer society, due to the fact that ample game is available to maintain the population, in addition to the long-term storage abilities. This typically would result in the rise in population, requiring more game to be hunted. Eventually, you over hunt the area, leaving it barren of fauna.

The hunting land may now have a more abundant flora (food producing plants) that the former game also fed upon. This could sustain the population as the hunters traveled farther and farther away (like spokes on a wheel) from the main settlement to find meat (this could also have resulted in neighboring tribes being encountered and fighting over the resources in each others "back yard"). Once the indigenous flora is also expended, the need to actually plant and plan a harvest becomes essential to the population, spurring observation of the sky and stars to know when to plant, when to sow, when winter will begin and end etc...

So, stationary hunter societies are plausible, but, IMO, this is what caused the fall of the society on Easter Island. Being so isolated, they simply could no longer sustain themselves once they expended all of their food.

It's plausible, however unsubstantiated.



posted on Oct, 14 2013 @ 12:09 AM
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reply to post by peter vlar
 


Nay, it is very similar. I know the food is there just as your tribe knew the food was there for them. The only reason they would become settled is if they knew it was there. If they thought it wasn't there, they would become nomadic.

Is it hunting and foraging if you know it is there?



posted on Oct, 14 2013 @ 12:36 AM
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Krakatoa

peter vlar

Bleeeeep
reply to post by peter vlar
 


Am I a hunter gatherer if I do not farm food or tend to live stock?

I hunt the shelves of walmart for my food.

How fair is it to call it hunter gatherer if they have a permanent settlement? If it is okay to say I am not a hunter gatherer, than neither were your Iroquois people. In practice, they were just going to the market to fetch their food, just as I do, or just as a farmer does as he goes to the corral, right?

I think you have to be a nomad to be a hunter gatherer.


And I think you're being ridiculous in your analogy. Comparing hunting and foraging to shopping at Walmart is asinine and we both know it. In anthropology there is no need to be nomadic to be considered a hunter gatherer. Obtaining the majority of your sustanence from hunting and foraging makes you so. I encourage you to learn a little more about the iroqouois before you accuse them of simply going to market. There were no market areas in or near Caughnewaga until the arrival of the Dutch. And even then the closest market was a dozen miles down river near Sir William Johnson's manor near what is now Amsterdam Ny. You can think it imperative to be nomadic to be an HG but
It doesn't make it so.


If I may add my 0.02, I believe his Walmart analogy is relevant here. A gatherer, gathers food (berries, nuts, fruit, insect, honey, etc...), right? Well when you go to a modern grocery store (such as a Super Walmart), are you not "gathering" your food in the same manner (instead of plucking it off a bush, you pluck it off a shelf). I think that was the crux of that argument, not that they went out to a "market" to get their food. The majority of modern civilization could be categorized as gatherers now. The percentage of people that hunt for their own food, or grow their own food is a definite minority on the whole.

SPECULATION
I wonder, if the stationary hunting society suggested by the OP preceded the farming aspect in this manner. Imagine you are a stationary hunter/gatherer society, due to the fact that ample game is available to maintain the population, in addition to the long-term storage abilities. This typically would result in the rise in population, requiring more game to be hunted. Eventually, you over hunt the area, leaving it barren of fauna.

The hunting land may now have a more abundant flora (food producing plants) that the former game also fed upon. This could sustain the population as the hunters traveled farther and farther away (like spokes on a wheel) from the main settlement to find meat (this could also have resulted in neighboring tribes being encountered and fighting over the resources in each others "back yard"). Once the indigenous flora is also expended, the need to actually plant and plan a harvest becomes essential to the population, spurring observation of the sky and stars to know when to plant, when to sow, when winter will begin and end etc...

So, stationary hunter societies are plausible, but, IMO, this is what caused the fall of the society on Easter Island. Being so isolated, they simply could no longer sustain themselves once they expended all of their food.

It's plausible, however unsubstantiated.



This is a huge tangent but for some reason what you were writing made me start to think of hunter/gatherer Aliens, who travel from world to world, hunting everything there until it's used up and move on.

Back on topic, knowing the stars and signs of heaven are more important to hunters than to farmers. I can go outside and know it's time to plant, in my home town we just look at an iconic hill, if there's snow on it, don't plant yet.

But as a hunter, who knows the migration patterns of animals and birds, I will know that these animals will be coming through this pass when the stars are at such an alignment. Catch my drift? This is probably why Goebekli Tepe was built, to tell people when to hunt what animals and where.
edit on 14-10-2013 by FreeMason because: (no reason given)



posted on Oct, 14 2013 @ 01:45 AM
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There was an intermediate stage were HG also planted non-domesticated plants and returned to the area to reap the harvest - that later evolved into the current 'slash and burn' types of agriculture.

The oldest civilizations were was Sumer, Egypt, Elamite, Indus (Harappa), Han, Minoan, Various west coast South America civs and meso-America, etc

So civilization didn't really spring up around the Mediterranean (depends on how far you extend the Med 'line of influence', it centered initially around the fertile crescent. They rose primarily on rivers which provided irrigation for 'industrial' agriculture, the first sea based one was Minoan and Peru. AFAWKN

The problem with a Med based civ is a lack of evidence for such. Civs leave massive archaeological footprints, often leaving traces hundreds of miles from their 'homelands' due to trade, war and resource exploitation.



posted on Oct, 14 2013 @ 02:22 AM
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reply to post by Hanslune
 


Excellent points, I was thinking about the slash and burn type earlier. Although the OP is outta there the question of what was the height of HG got me thinking about the transition to agriculture. I just don't know that much about it, the last book I read that covered this topic was some History of Man or something evolution book IDK but it was written in the 70's.



posted on Oct, 14 2013 @ 09:56 AM
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reply to post by FreeMason
 


imho

the wealth of the atlantis region was based on the auroch which lived in brackish marshes and did not migrate. the iranian version of the story says they needed more marsh for the cows and they were having problems with fire on the huge grassy plain where they lived ... hence the larger and larger water features [until they finally built one that a modern firefighter will tell you is fireproof - 3000 strides or 3 stades or 3.6km wide]

eventually they were flooded out and gathered all the cows etc they could into the great vara at gadiera on the shore of the pelagos of atlas [okeanos]. hercules attacked that and stole the cows.

once the pelagos of atlas drained, everyone rushed back.

peace



posted on Oct, 14 2013 @ 01:54 PM
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Just one question to the OP

Why is there a need to link Atlantis to a discussion on Hunter gatherers?

HG were a formative phase of human civilization.

Atlantis is still debatable.

Don't beat around the bush - is it just for the mileage or publicity for the thread that you added Atlantis to the title??



posted on Oct, 14 2013 @ 03:09 PM
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Bleeeeep
reply to post by peter vlar
 


Nay, it is very similar. I know the food is there just as your tribe knew the food was there for them. The only reason they would become settled is if they knew it was there. If they thought it wasn't there, they would become nomadic.

Is it hunting and foraging if you know it is there?

I don't think it's at all like going to walmart where every time you go in you know exactly where the meat is, what aisle the pasta is in etc. Deer don't set up shop at a certain place and just hang out. Last time I went to walmart I also didn't have to worry about black bears or other predators smelling my fresh kill and tracking me down for it let alone avoiding Algonquin raiding parties. Theres a difference between knowing something is probably out there and searching for it and saying to your wife on the way out that you'll be back in 20 minutes from the Piggly Wiggly with crackers and easy cheese. and that doesn't even touch on prep involved once you get everything back home. The biggest difference between indigenous North Americans 500 years ago vs 10,000 is the ability to store items for longer periods. And I should also point out that many Iroquois while having stable settlements, they did from time to time pick up and move everyone and everything 10 miles upstream and across the river. till within their usual territorial boundaries but they did move. It just wasn't seasonally.




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