Neanderthals, Bandits and Farmers: How Agriculture Really Began

Tradition Has It That Agriculture Began In The Middle East Around 10,000 Years Ago, That Once People Realized The Advantages Of Farming, It Spread Rapidly To The Furthest Outposts Of The World, And That This Led To The Neolithic Revolution And The End Of The Hunting Gathering Lifestyle In This Book Colin Tudge Argues That Agriculture In Some Form Was In The Repertoire Of Our Ancestors For Thousands Of Years Before The Neolithic Farming Revolution People Did Not Suddenly Invent Forced Into It Over A Long Period What We See In The Neolithic Revolution Is Not The Beginning Of Agriculture On A Large Scale, In One Place, With Refined Tools.Drawing On A Wide Range Of Evidence From Fossil Records To The Bible, Tudge Offers A Persuasive Hypothesis About A Puzzling Epoch In Our Past In So Doing, He Provides New Insights Into The Pleistocene Overkill, The Demise Of The Neanderthals, The Location Of The Biblical Eden, And Much.Neanderthals, Bandits and Farmers: How Agriculture Really Began

Colin Tudge was educated at Dulwich College, 1954 61 and read zoology at Peterhouse, Cambridge, 1962 65 Since 1965 he has worked on journals such as World Medicine, New Scientist and Pan, the newspaper of the World Food Conference held in Rome, 1974.Ever since then he has earned a living by spasmodic broadcasting and a lot of writing mainly books these days, but with occasional articles He has

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  • Hardcover
  • 64 pages
  • Neanderthals, Bandits and Farmers: How Agriculture Really Began
  • Colin Tudge
  • English
  • 01 November 2017
  • 9780300080247

10 thoughts on “Neanderthals, Bandits and Farmers: How Agriculture Really Began

  1. says:

    This is a short monograph 50 pages that synopsizes Colin Tudge s argument that pre Neolithic Revolution humans and, indeed, hominids in general have been modifying their environment for hundreds of millennia, and this includes farming, of which Tudge identifies three types 1 Horticulture Or, prosaically, gardening 2 Arable farming The stereotypical image of the wheat or rice farmer toiling in a field.3 Pastoral farming Which mixes arable and or horticultural farming with stock raising.Arable farming is not the unmitigated blessing that mythology makes it out to be it involves backbreaking labor, leads to malnutrition because it narrows the varieties of food in the diet, and it increases disease amongst both human and domesticated animal populations Despite these, the advantages of increased population, an ensured food supply and greater return on investment made arablist cultures successful than horticulturalists or pastoralists.The last point about the return on investment refers to the fact that a hunter can invest ten hours or two to hunting and, in the long run, won t get any food out of it That s why predator species and hunter gatherers look like no good layabouts there s no percentage in exerting themselves Arablists, on the other hand, do get for effort Their food supply increas...

  2. says:

    This short book 53 pages is a clearly written essay exploring the fuzzy line between mere foraging hunting and gathering and cultivation The author is not an expert in any of the specific fields one might think necessary for such an exploration He is not a biologist, an anthropologist, an archaeologist, an ecologist, etc He is described merely as a research fellow at the London School of Economics for philosophy and is known as a science writer But this lack of expertise in any single field combined with his capacity for critical thinking allows him to escape the limits imposed by any single scientific specialization on the ability to draw evidence from different fields together In this essay, he managed to weave different strands of evidence from several fields together to create a feasible and very interesting story of how agriculture began Though at times, I felt he stretched credibility a bit, in general, the story he tells seems fairly likely His hypotheses are sure to aggravate those die hard primitivists, for example who want a clear break between a pristine foraging existence and the rise of agriculture, those who prefer the theological perspective of a fall into civilization Tudge instead describes how all beings to some extent manipulate their environment, and i...

  3. says:

    Colin Tudge wrote Neanderthals, Bandits, Farmers, a book that presents his theories on the dawn of progress and perpetual growth, focusing on how agriculture really began At the time, he was employed by the London School of Economics, an institution focused on capitalism, not ecological sustainability.The book vibrates with cognitive dissonance Tudge has been studying agriculture for many years On one hand, it was a magnificent achievement that threw open the door to the wonders of modernity On the other hand, modernity has become a victim of its own success, with seven billion humans dangerously rocking the boat As Pandora once discovered, some magnificent achievements are best left in the box.For most of the human journey, our ancestors were hunter gatherers, whom Tudge likens to bandits They lived by their wits, snatched what the ecosystem had to offer, and had plenty of leisure time in their lives The prudent path was to live within the carrying capacity of their ecosystem If they had been ambitious and hardworking, they would have wiped out their prey and starved.Farmers were ambitious, hardworking control freaks They manipulated the ecosystem to increase its carrying capacity, temporarily, via soil mining More wo...

  4. says:

    This a small book of only 53 pages, but it makes good points about evolutionary theory explaining the origins of farming as we know it today.Tudge is trying to convince us that farming did not begin 10,000 years ago as traditional historians have said for so long He believes that farming, in the sense of people manipulating their physical environment to promote useful plant growth, started much earlier He speculates that 40,000...

  5. says:

    Abandoned on page 8 of 50 I was told when I got given the book that the theory had been largely discredited I was only reading it out of interest therefore and the style annoyed me too much so I stopped.

  6. says:

    This book illustrates the Book of Genesis through the lens of the end of the last ice age changing the land mass This led to the necessity of humans moving from hunter gatherers to cultivators and herders.

  7. says:

    Fascinating book about the history of agriculture The theories about how agriculture started and grew into what it is now were new to me Now I want to learn I m definitely buying this book someday 13 It was fun to read and I was exposed to a new perspective in a subje...

  8. says:

    A most interesting monograph on the roots of agriculture The story of Cain Abel, is hinted by the author as the beginning in which humankind switched from being passive pastoralists to active arablists A recommended re...

  9. says:

    It was good, simple, and pretty informative It was an easy read with speculation mixed in with things that are already assumed common knowledge All in all it was only about a 45 minute read and definitely not a waste of time.

  10. says:

    This book is a really quick read but it has lots of ideas that I really enjoyed hearing It s not like it posits anything breathtaking or mind boggling, it s just a short journey from the conventional wisdom on agriculture, but it was well written and interesting to read

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