The Agricultural Revolution

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hadad
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The Agricultural Revolution

Post by hadad » Tue 21 Feb 2012, 13:30

Something happened in the Ancient Levant, that has altered the face of human history 10,000 years ago almost. Simple farming developed, and helped the Prepottery Neolithic Cultures to develope. Do you think the PPNC people spoke a sumerian-related language? Possibly Afroasiatic? Nostratic? Eurasiatic? ProtoIndoEuropean? Discuss.
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eldin raigmore
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Re: The Agricultural Revolution

Post by eldin raigmore » Fri 24 Feb 2012, 19:49

Isn't "the Neolithic Revolution" the usual term for what you're calling "the Agricultural Revolution"?

And: What hints could we get about the language of the first wheat growers of 10-to-15 kya (10,000-to-15,000 BP) or 10,000-to-15,000 BCE?

And: Even if we can get some hints, what kind of evidence would make them convincing? Is anything convincing left? (Note: 10 kya is 7997 years 9 months and 5 days BCE.)

And: What about the Neolithic Revolution, and/or the Agricultural Revolution, outside the Levant?
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cybrxkhan
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Re: The Agricultural Revolution

Post by cybrxkhan » Sat 25 Feb 2012, 00:30

eldin raigmore wrote:And: What about the Neolithic Revolution, and/or the Agricultural Revolution, outside the Levant?
To elaborate on Eldin's point, in my opinion, the idea that Agriculture began in the Levant as a major turning point in history - is outdated. It's a Eurocentric idea, in that agriculture - thus civilization - begins in the Levant, and spreads to Europe where it truly flourishes.

Truth is, agriculture definitely arose independently in several other areas, including for instance, MesoAmerica, Papua New Guinea, and China (some say that agriculture in China was spread there via Mesopotamia, but I say that's BS). Other areas such as Egypt and the Indus may have gotten it from the Levant, or they may have not.

That being said, I remember one of my Geography professors - who does have some background in linguistics, and also adheres to the Nostratic theory. He said if the Nostratic theory is true, then the Nostratic-speakers probably would have come from around the northern Levant. I really don't remember his justification, but whatever.

Anyhow it's pretty hard to tell all the while, just as Eldin said.
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Torco
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Re: The Agricultural Revolution

Post by Torco » Tue 07 Aug 2012, 21:53

It most likely was like the industrial 'revolution' or the computer 'revolution', long-winded processes that some historians call revolutions both to cheapen the truly revolutionary aspirations of the proletariat and to make their own points seem more important than they are.

I'll probably have more to say later on this, I love the point in time where history meets anthropology, but my head is juiceless nao
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Re: The Agricultural Revolution

Post by Solarius » Tue 07 Aug 2012, 22:10

Torco wrote:It most likely was like the industrial 'revolution' or the computer 'revolution', long-winded processes that some historians call revolutions both to cheapen the truly revolutionary aspirations of the proletariat and to make their own points seem more important than they are.

I'll probably have more to say later on this, I love the point in time where history meets anthropology, but my head is juiceless nao
Yay, Torco is here! I hope you'll help bring a little more Conworlding focus too.
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Torco
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Re: The Agricultural Revolution

Post by Torco » Tue 07 Aug 2012, 22:23

Solarius wrote:
Torco wrote:It most likely was like the industrial 'revolution' or the computer 'revolution', long-winded processes that some historians call revolutions both to cheapen the truly revolutionary aspirations of the proletariat and to make their own points seem more important than they are.

I'll probably have more to say later on this, I love the point in time where history meets anthropology, but my head is juiceless nao
Yay, Torco is here! I hope you'll help bring a little more Conworlding focus too.
aw, no, here too people care more about the lang than the cultures and societies that speak them? I was hoping having an entire sub forum for anthropology and stuff would be an indicator otherwise!
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Re: The Agricultural Revolution

Post by Solarius » Tue 07 Aug 2012, 22:33

Torco wrote:
Solarius wrote:
Torco wrote:It most likely was like the industrial 'revolution' or the computer 'revolution', long-winded processes that some historians call revolutions both to cheapen the truly revolutionary aspirations of the proletariat and to make their own points seem more important than they are.

I'll probably have more to say later on this, I love the point in time where history meets anthropology, but my head is juiceless nao
Yay, Torco is here! I hope you'll help bring a little more Conworlding focus too.
aw, no, here too people care more about the lang than the cultures and societies that speak them? I was hoping having an entire sub forum for anthropology and stuff would be an indicator otherwise!
A wee bit so, although it's getting better. It used to be that this forum and the conworlds forum were dead. Lately though, all those AMA threads and such seem to have revitalized some conculture stuff.

I hope I don't scare you away. [:(]
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Torco
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Re: The Agricultural Revolution

Post by Torco » Tue 07 Aug 2012, 22:42

*hops on his motorcycle and leaves into the rain*
:P
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Yačay256
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Re: The Agricultural Revolution

Post by Yačay256 » Sun 13 Oct 2013, 03:14

It is my understanding that the Near East as the original cradle of agriculture has been discredited; see the link below for why (particularly cite notes 38 and 39):

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Neolithic ... New_Guinea

Also, see:

http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news ... lture.html

So it was probably a people who spoke Proto-Trans-New Guinea that first made the transition to farming, via a crop package based on taro and later including taro, oil-rich galip nuts, sago, sugarcane, toddy palm, yams, bananas, winged beans (a complete protein), nitrogen-fixing Casuarina oligodon (AKA a species of sheoak) and many other crops native to New Guinea.
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Re: The Agricultural Revolution

Post by CatDoom » Sun 20 Oct 2013, 09:09

It may be true that agriculture originated in multiple places, at multiple times, and in a variety of forms, but it would be silly to say that the development of wheat agriculture in the Levant didn't have a huge impact on the course of world history.

As for what language they may have spoken, that's really hard to say.

By some estimates, Proto-Afroasiatic may have been spoken around the time of the neolithic revolution in the Levant, but there's fairly persuasive evidence that it wasn't spoken in the Levant.

Proto-Indo-European is probably too young, as far as I know, and its ancestors were probably in the wrong part of the world.

Nostratic, if such a language can actually be reconstructed, is probably too old, considering that the proposed Nostratic family usually includes the Afroasiatic languages. Assuming the Nostratic hypothesis is correct, I suppose it's entirely possible that the first neolithic groups spoke Nostratic languages belonging to an unattested, extinct phylum later displaced by Afroasiatic.

Sumerian is a bit of a mystery, and it's tempting to assign the development of agriculture in the Near-East to the ancestors of the Sumerians, since theirs is the earliest attested language in the region, and probably the world. However, as many as 8,000 years may have passed between the appearance of evidence for agriculture in the archaeological record and the earliest dated Sumerian inscriptions, so there's no real reason to favor Pre-Sumerian speakers over any other group with ties to the region.

Plus, there is apparently evidence of an unknown and apparently unrelated linguistic subtratum in Sumerian itself, suggesting that even Sumerian speakers may have come from another region.

Setting that aside, here's some wild speculation:

Lets say that the Nostratic theory is accurate, and that the Nostratic family includes Afroasiatic. Some have suggested that the speakers of Proto-Nostratic were the Kebaran Culture, who inhabited the Levant and the Sinai Peninsula around the end of the last ice age. By the time of the sedentary Natufian Culture, which may have been the precursor to the first agricultural cultures in the region, Nostratic might already have had time to split up into a diverse array of languages over a wide area, which might have been jumbled up with languages from other families (like Pre-Sumerian languages) to create a complex linguistic and cultural patchwork. This could have been similar to the situation on the west coast of North America before colonization, another region characterized by (semi-)sedentary, "complex" hunter-gatherer cultures.

Out of this diversity would ultimately emerge the ancestors of the Indo-European, Uralic, Altaic, Kartvelian, Afroasiatic, and Dravidian languages. The initial "inventors" of agriculture, in this imaginary scenario, aren't any of these. They speak a language that might somewhat resemble both Proto-Afroasiatic and Pre-Proto-Indo-European. It might be ancestral to some of the Pre-Indo-European languages of Anatolia and Southeastern Europe, since there's some genetic evidence for an early migration of neolithic people from the Fertile Crescent into mesolithic Europe.

This phylum of Nostratic might have been gradually replaced in a piecemeal fashion, by Afro-Asiatic in the south and Indo-European in the north, or even by obscure or unknown languages that were themselves later replaced. It seems to me that putting together a hypothetical "forgotten" subfamily of Nostratic might be a fun and challenging bit of conlangery. :)
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Yačay256
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Re: The Agricultural Revolution

Post by Yačay256 » Tue 05 Nov 2013, 04:34

CatDoom wrote:It may be true that agriculture originated in multiple places, at multiple times, and in a variety of forms, but it would be silly to say that the development of wheat agriculture in the Levant didn't have a huge impact on the course of world history.
I most certainly agree that the Near East was among the most important cradles of agriculture, it largely fuelled such great civilizations as those of the Achaemenids, the Romans, the Greeks, the Sumerians and so on, it largely pales in comparison to the amount and worth of crops hailing from the Americas, especially Amazonia and the Andes .

Note that wheat is not a complete protein, unlike Andean quinoa, nor is it as productive as the Amazonian palm Bactris gasipaes is in producing fruit. Potatoes, uqa, mashwa, quinine trees, yacón, the best cotton in the world (namely, extra-long staple cotton) and - probably - sweet potatoes all originate the Andean region, while açaí, pineapples, acerola, manioc, lesser yams, arrowroot, casabananas and the Pará rubber tree all originate from the Amazon Basin.

Furthermore, it is really a myth that there was an essential lack of domesticated animal product foods in the Americas as well. In fact, while only the llama and the ubiquitous dog were used for traction in the Precolumbian Americas, that is really missing the fact that smaller animals, like insects, fish and shellfish, which are as a matter of fact more efficient converters of feed into bodymass than large mammals. And there were plenty of these: Pacú, guinea pigs, mayflies, limpets, ants, cichlids and so many other livestock were all eaten across the Americas by various cultures, and many were farmed highly intensively by many Amazonian cultures, the Aztecs (with their famous chinampa) and the Maya and Tiwanaku.
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