Friday, January 18, 2013

Early Agriculture Diversity in Stone Age

Diversity in Early Agriculture
Around the world early people domesticated a wide variety of plants and animals. Agriculture in southwestern Asia was based on growing wheat and barley and on raising sheep, goats, and cattle. In the Nile Valley in northern Africa, farmers raised wheat, barley, sheep, goats, cattle, and pigs. Far to the east, people settling the river valleys of present-day Pakistan and China raised grains such as rice and millet and kept pigs, chickens, and water buffaloes.

In the Americas early farmers also began growing crops. Farmers in what is now southern Mexico grew chili peppers, squash, and other vegetables. In the mountain valleys of what is now Peru, farmers raised beans and chili peppers. Potatoes were a major crop in what is now Bolivia. Later, Native Americans would also grow maize, or corn. Maize would be important throughout American history.

At its beginning, agriculture simply offered another way besides hunting and gathering for people to subsist, or survive. Once people began to depend on farming for their subsistence, they were less likely to move. They needed to stay near their fields so that they could care for the crops. In many places, agriculture gradually led to year- round villages and more complex societies.

What were the main food crops raised in northern Africa? in the Americas? in southwestern Asia?

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