Please examine the new study on Dawn of Agriculture Took Toll On Health Paleo. http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2011/06/110615094514.htm
Does anyone know this researcher?
asked byAndre_Chimene (3202)
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on June 19, 2011
at 06:11 PM
I highly recommend this fantastic book: Against The Grain, by Richard Manning. He covers this topic in a lot of depth and from different fields of study. There is excellent history on exactly this topic (I wouldn't be surprised if he discusses Mummert's work - or at least the research that influenced hers). Manning also covers the modern grain and industrial food industries. It's amazing stuff.
The structure is a series of essays, some quite personal - it's not a textbook at all but certainly has enough info in it to be used as one.
One amazing tidbit: in an early essay he discusses the appearance of the early Neolithic (and agricultural) migrations that replaced the Cro-Magnon people in Northern France (think the Cave Paintings of Lascaux). The evidence for this shift is supported in fossil records, in genetics AND in linguistics. And there is one small group of people still living in this region that has genes associated with the Cro-Magnon (that are not common elsewhere) and also a language that has no known roots common with other world languages: The Basque. Pretty cool, eh?
on June 19, 2011
at 11:09 PM
Came to this through the duplicate... for all of our bad mouthing of "agriculture" in general, from the archeological record it seems that certain groups have managed to practice agriculture without grains and without ill effects - an example would be Amazonian and North American Indians. In the book "1491" Charles Mann talks about how the abundance that Europeans found on coming to the Americas was in large part due to tree and animal husbandry practices of the native americans. They planted massive amounts of fruit and nut trees and brambles, as well as using burning techniques to control the size and density of forests. The "untouched" Great Plains may have been an informal game preserve where Indians "grew" and hunted buffalo at replacement rates.
My point is that grain-based agriculture in Sumer and Mesoamerica have been the most studied and the most well known, but there existed agriculture that was NOT reliant on direct grain consumption, that while only practiceable at lower densities, was both nutritious and environmentally sustainable. We don't give early people's enough credit just thinking of them as being untouched Edenic children of the Earth. They changed the earth to suit their desires, just as we do, but for certain peoples the lack of native annual grasses suitable to grain cultivation forced them to go other, better routes.
on June 19, 2011
at 05:08 PM
This data is not new. We have known this about the Egyptian empire because of the mummy studies done. Many believe this is precisely why the empire fell over time. Good find though and always good to revisit it. Plus one.
on December 18, 2011
at 05:22 AM
I was the one that posted the 'duplicate' back in June. By coincidence I happen to read science daily - daily and back in June felt the need to share it here (missed being 1st by 2 hours or so :( ). Im posting this now, because having re-read the article, it is that good that this post should be bumped.