The Origins of Agriculture - 1st Edition - ISBN: 9780125892810, 9781483269542

The Origins of Agriculture

1st Edition

An Evolutionary Perspective

Authors: David Rindos
eBook ISBN: 9781483269542
Imprint: Academic Press
Published Date: 28th December 1987
Page Count: 344
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The Origins of Agriculture: An Evolutionary Perspective presents an alternative approach to understanding cultural variation and change. It aims to demonstrate that domestication and the origin of agricultural systems are best understood by attempting to explicate the evolutionary forces that affected that development of domesticates and agricultural systems. The book begins by discussing cultural change, the domestication of plants, and the origin of agricultural systems in the most general of terms. It considers Darwinism in some depth, concentrating on the relationship between natural selection and cultural change. Subsequent chapters examine the world of domestication and agriculture and present a series of concepts that may permit a more natural explanation for these processes. These include concepts such as incidental domestication, specialized domestication, and agricultural domestication. The final two chapters present models for the origin and spread of agricultural systems based upon Darwinian evolutionary theory.

Table of Contents



1. Agriculture, Evolution, and Paradigms

Agriculture and the Paradigm of Consciousness

Cultural Evolution

Environmental Determinism and Orthogenesis

Cultural Ecology

Adaptation, Equilibrium and Systems Theory

Equilibrium Lost

2. Darwinism and Culture

Natural Selection, Fitness, and Adaptation

The Unit and Level of Selection

Natural Selection and Cultural Change

Variation and Evolution

Culture and Evolution

Cultural Selectionism

3. The Naturalness of the Human-Plant Relationship

Biology and Intent

Animal-Plant Relationships

Coevolution and Dispersal

Weeds and Mimicry

Humans and Domestication

4. The Evolution of Domestication


Utilization and Domestication

A Taxonomy for Domestication from an Evolutionary Perspective

Complexity and Stability

Domestication and Sedentism

Domestication and Changing Selective Pressures

5. Feeding Behavior and Change in Diet


The General Model

The Graphic Model

Valuation and Domestication

Agricultural Domestication and Diet

Timing and a Test

6. Instability, Cultural Fecundity, and Dispersals

Domestication and Demography

Agricultural Origins

Dispersals of Agricultural Systems





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© Academic Press 1984
Academic Press
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About the Author

David Rindos

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