The Origins of Agriculture in China: From Hunting and Gathering to Early Farming
Ofer Bar-Yosef, Harvard University
George Grant MacCurdy and Janet G. B. MacCurdy Professor of Prehistoric Archaeology
Curator of Paleolithic Archaeology in the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology
Friday, February 10, 2012
Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World
Rhode Island Hall, Room 108
60 George Street
The transition from hunting and gathering to cultivation of wild plants was initiated by semi-sedentary communities some 11,000 years ago. Among the earliest East Asian pioneering foragers were those who lived in North China who started cultivating wild millet. Within one or two millennia the annually cultivated millet became domesticated and was joined by corralling and eventual domestication of pigs. Stable food production and storage allowed for a rapid demographic increase and the spread of villages to the periphery of the core area. It is suggested that the natural richness of plant and animal resources in South China resulted in the delayed cultivation and the domestication of the rice.
Ofer Bar-Yosef is George Grant MacCurdy and Janet G. B. MacCurdy Professor of Prehistoric Archaeology, and Curator of Paleolithic Archaeology in the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, at Harvard University. He has co-edited 16 volumes (including four major site reports) and authored, or co-authored over 300 papers and book chapters. He is currently involved in field programs in Georgia and China.
Sponsored by the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World, the Friends of the Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology, and the Year of China.