The wild ancestor of maize. (pron. tay-oh- SIN-tay)
Village-based agricultural societies, usually organized by kinship groups, that functioned without a formal government apparatus.
“Secondary Products Revolution”
A term used to describe a series of technological changes that began c.a. 4000 B.C.E., as people began to develop new uses for their domesticated animals, exploiting a revolutionary new source of power.
A human society that relies on domesticated animals rather than plants as the main source of food; pastoral nomads lead their animals to seasonal grazing grounds rather than settling permanently in a single location.
Often called “Aboriginals” (from the Latin ab origine, the people who had been there “from the beginning”), the natives of Australia continued (and to some extent still continue) to live by gathering and hunting, despite the transition to agriculture in nearby lands.
first civilization located between the Tigris & Eurphrates Rivers in present day Iraq; term means “land between the rivers;” Sumerian culture
Site of an important early agricultural settlement of perhaps 2,000 people in present-day Israel.
The process of getting more in return for less; for example, growing more food on a smaller plot of land.
Hoe-based agriculture, typically of early Agrarian societies.
Region sometimes known as Southwest Asia that includes the modern states of Iraq, Syria, Israel/Palestine, and Southern Turkey; the earliest home of agriculture.
End of the Last Ice Age
A process of global warming that began around 16,000 years ago and ended about 5,000 years later, with the earth enjoying a climate similar to that of our own time; the end of the Ice Age changed conditions for human beings, leading to increased population and helping to pave the way for agriculture.
The taming and changing of nature for the benefit of humankind.
The gradual spread of agricultural techniques without extensive population movement.
A societal group governed by a chief who typically relies on generosity, ritual status, or charisma rather than force to win obedience from the people.
An important Neolithic site in what is now Turkey. (pron. cha-TAHL-hoo-YOOK)
An important agricultural chiefdom of North America that flourished around 1100 C.E.
Broad Spectrum Diet
Archeologists’ term for the diet of gathering and hunting societies, which included a wide array of plants and animals.
The spread of Bantu speaking peoples from their homeland in what is now Southern Nigeria or Cameroon to most of Africa, in a process that started 3000 B.C.E. and continued for several millennia.
An African-language family whose speakers eventually became the dominant culture of eastern and southern Africa, thanks to their agricultural techniques and, later, their ironworking skills.
A Chinese archaeological site, where the remains of a significant Neolithic village have been found.
An Asian-language family whose speakers gradually became the dominant culture Philippines, Indonesia, and Pacific Islands, thanks to their mastery of agriculture.
Also known as the Neolithic Revolution, this is the transformation of human (and world) existence caused by the deliberate cultivation of particular plants and the deliberate taming and breeding of particular animals.