Read e-book online Behavioral Ecology and the Transition to Agriculture PDF

By Douglas J. Kennett, Bruce Winterhalder

ISBN-10: 0520246470

ISBN-13: 9780520246478

This cutting edge quantity is the 1st collective attempt by means of archaeologists and ethnographers to take advantage of strategies and types from human behavioral ecology to discover probably the most consequential transitions in human heritage: the origins of agriculture. rigorously balancing concept and distinctive empirical research, and drawing from a chain of ethnographic and archaeological case reports from 11 locations--including North and South the United States, Mesoamerica, Europe, the close to East, Africa, and the Pacific--the individuals to this quantity study the transition from looking and collecting to farming and herding utilizing a large set of analytical types and ideas. those comprise vitamin breadth, important position foraging, perfect loose distribution, discounting, threat sensitivity, inhabitants ecology, and expensive signaling. An introductory bankruptcy either charts the fundamentals of the idea and notes components of speedy boost in our knowing of ways human subsistence structures evolve. concluding chapters by means of senior archaeologists contemplate the possibility of human behavioral ecology to provide an explanation for domestication and the transition from foraging to farming.

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Additional info for Behavioral Ecology and the Transition to Agriculture (Origins of Human Behavior and Culture)

Example text

The best way to counteract this is to choose k values from experiments with similarly scaled rewards and delays. For example, if we wanted to compare results from different experiments, it would be inappropriate to compare the Tsimane’ results with the Indian peasant results, even when k is converted into the same time units. Because the second Mikea experiment and the Tsimane’ experiment use small rewards with delays spanning several days, we can justifiably compare them and conclude that both populations of forager-horticulturalists discount at similar rates.

For instance, the diet breadth model assumes random encounter with resources, a condition increasingly likely to be violated as foragers become involved in the manipulation of individual species. In as much as all models simplify reality and thus violate at least some conditions of their application, the unavoidable judgment is this: does the failure to fit this particular assumption completely vitiate the heuristic or analytical value of the model? With the specific cautions cited in individual papers, we believe the combined weight of the case studies developed in this volume add up to a strong presumption in favor of the utility of foraging theory, even as the foragers being analyzed direct more and more of their effort toward agricultural activities.

Some farmers plant in plowed furrows or mounds, and dig drainage ditches to avert flood damage; and they weed their fields three to four times a year. Fields are enclosed with fences and guarded with talismans to protect them from animal, human, and supernatural predators. Forest-dwelling Mikea rarely practice these techniques. Because they only check their fields during periodic visits, they often neglect to drain or weed in a timely fashion, if at all. Loss to livestock and thieves is common.

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Behavioral Ecology and the Transition to Agriculture (Origins of Human Behavior and Culture) by Douglas J. Kennett, Bruce Winterhalder

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