Week 7 Blog

Asking if the emergence of agriculture eventually led to the rise of the state is an extremely loaded question when taking into account all the present variables that gives rise or is a major part of the state. The answer is yes, agriculture did give rise to the state. The definition of agriculture, as defined by google, is the science or practice of farming, including cultivation of the soil for the growing of crops and the rearing of animals to provide food, wool, and other products. Now when we take this definition and look at it as objectively as possible we can derive the conclusion that with the use and practice of agriculture we essentially control the environment and certain species to further progress, feed, clothe and rear our youth and grow our species as we wish. It sounds extreme until we start to look at the growth of our population in correlation with human’s increased domestication and farming of plants and other animals. This relates to the state, defined as a nation or territory considered as an organized political community under one government, group, or leader, because there needs to be order and rule to successfully conduct agricultural practices. That means that once agriculture became a practice, rather than hunting and gathering, humans had to take part performing specific roles and duties and had to take orders from a superior to ensure that optimal agricultural growth would ensue. Many cultural developments also lead to the emergence of agriculture as well. It is apparent when looking at species and civilizations during the upper paleolithic period but especially the neolithic period where humans start to show value in materials, such as tools and clothes, and obviously food for survival. We see that species and civilizations started trading goods to enhance their way of life and installed a sort of economy through trade of these objects and resources between communities. As the neolithic period emerged and agricultural practices started to be used by communities we also start to see these communities stay put in one geologic area and often walled off their territories instead of continuing to hunt and gather by following their food across vast distances. Through archeological excavation we can find three particular types of evidence that  shows the emergence of agriculture. The three main categories are in the animal remains, plant fossils and types of tools. Animal bones and plant remains found within agricultural communities often display distinct anatomical changes when compared to the wild versions of the plants and animals they were derived from. The other most important piece of archaeological evidence is the types of stone tools that have been found in ancient agricultural regions. For example grinding stones, which have been found and were used for things such as grinding grains into flours provide evidence that humans were no longer just hunting and gathering but perhaps cooking and baking more complex recipes of foods like bread.

One thought on “Week 7 Blog

  1. I liked your response and how the use of agriculture and specifically the cultivation of plants and the rearing of animals causing the rise of states in the topic of agriculture, but do you think that if a society had some cattle or sheep they would bring with them when they were hunters and gatherers instead of farmers they would still be classified the same way. Because the rearing of animals is still occurring but the development of a state and the development of agriculture in a singular centralized location is not occurring. Also, do you by chance think that the most important aspect of agriculture causing the rise of states is the implementation of production within agriculture instead of cultivation itself, for example the introduction of agricultural tools or irrigation canals to make the process easier. Also do you think that the cultivation of plants and you gave examples of the anatomically different versions of plants led to the development of tools because it was the natural evolution of becoming more organized, because you talked about how they started to create roles within agriculture when they started to farm on a state basis. Lastly, your point about humans showing value in materials is interesting In that it highlights the fact that humans became more aware of their materials and began to use them more efficiently.

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