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Rethinking Agriculture

by Timothy P Denham

Rethinking Agriculture Synopsis

Although the need to study agriculture in different parts of the world on its own terms has long been recognized and re-affirmed, a tendency persists to evaluate agriculture across the globe using concepts, lines of evidence and methods derived from Eurasian research. However, researchers working in different regions are becoming increasingly aware of fundamental differences in the nature of, and methods employed to study, agriculture and plant exploitation practices in the past. Contributions to this volume rethink agriculture, whether in terms of existing regional chronologies, in terms of techniques employed, or in terms of the concepts that frame our interpretations. This volume highlights new archaeological and ethnoarchaeological research on early agriculture in understudied non-Eurasian regions, including Island Southeast Asia and the Pacific, the Americas and Africa, to present a more balanced view of the origins and development of agricultural practices around the globe.

Rethinking Agriculture Press Reviews excellent and timely compendium of current thinking and debate on the topic...There is much to be learned and thought about here. The editors and contributors should be congratulated for producing such a fine piece of work. The volume is sure to assume considerable prominence and have lasting significance in the intertwined realms of theory, concepts, data, and interpretation in agricultural origins. --Dolores R. Piperno, Journal of Anthropological Research In a concise and ambitious opening chapter authors are challenged to critically evaluate concepts such as domestication, centres of origin and the farmer/gatherer dichotomy in defining agriculture as well as the scale of analysis suitable for the investigation of agricultural prehistories. The following papers provide a wealth of new information, at times overwhelming, of significance for both the narrative of ancient agriculture and methodology construction. --Andrew Fairbairn, Archaeology in Oceania Most readers will find the contents fresh and, in places, challenging. This volume is a significant addition to the growing literature on alternative ideas about the development of agriculture in different parts of the world. This review cannot do justice to the 21 contributions by a wide range of authors. --Tim Maggs, South African Archaeological Bulletin

Book Information

ISBN: 9781598742619
Publication date: 15th June 2009
Author: Timothy P Denham
Publisher: Left Coast Press Inc
Format: Paperback / softback
Pagination: 476 pages
Categories: Industrial archaeology, Agriculture & farming,

About Timothy P Denham

Timothy P. Denham is a Research Fellow in the School of Geography and Environmental Science at Monash University. His research builds upon the pioneering investigations of Jack Golson and colleagues and focuses upon early to mid-Holocene plant exploitation and early agriculture in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea. Since 2003, he has published extensively on this research, including articles in Science, Antiquity, Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society and World Archaeology, and he co-edited (with Chris Ballard) a volume of archaeology in Oceania entitled Perspectives on Prehistoric Agriculture in the New Guinea Highlands.Jose Iriarte is Lecturer in Archaeology at the Department ...

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