Origins of Agriculture





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Published on May 17, 2012

Video 12 in the Introduction to Ethnobotany series. Presented by Will McClatchey.

The practice of agriculture has dramatically changed the face of the earth and has served as the economic, political, and social foundation of every human civilization. Agricultural societies are frequently typified by their dependence upon certain crops. Crop plant species that are the most important are under heavy selection pressure with many recognized varieties. In general, the more important the crop, the more varieties that will be named. Plants involved in the development of agriculture have fundamentally shaped history contributing to wars and peace, prosperity and famine. "An army marches on its stomach." This episode considers the evolutionary history that connects development of particular plants as intensively cultivated foods and the rise of political states with armies.

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