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Agriculture in Scandinavia - Essay Example

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Agriculture in Scandinavia and the rest of Europe is known to have arrived from South West Asia in pre-historic times in the form of foreign colonists and their domesticated animals, seeds, and potted plants…
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Agriculture in Scandinavia

Download file to see previous pages... Agriculture in Scandinavia and the rest of Europe is known to have arrived from South West Asia in pre-historic times in the form of foreign colonists and their domesticated animals, seeds, and potted plants.Study of transition in Southern Scandinavia became easier and more exciting as the region proved to be a laboratory of human prehistory.There are evidences that the early cultures in Middle East around 8000 BC used wild cereals for food which led to cultivated wheat, use of pottery With the fantastic archeological sources and research combined with impressive chronology, Northern Europe, Denmark and southern Scandinavia are a mine of anthropological information today. Study of transition in Southern Scandinavia became easier and more exciting as the region proved to be a laboratory of human prehistory. There are evidences that the early cultures in Middle East around 8000 BC used wild cereals for food which led to cultivated wheat, use of pottery, grains, and this is believed to have spread farming across Neolithic Europe.It is also argued that the farming revolution reached Scandinavia only around 4000 or 3800 BC, according to pottery and winding coils of clay found in the region. This assumption and belief that lasted all these years has been questioned by recent anthropologists, who claim that the farming was not borrowed, but was indigenized and Price is one among them. "Given current archaeological and anthropological evidence, the consensus among Scandinavian archaeologists today is that the introduction of agriculture was largely the result of indigenous adoption" (Price).


World agriculture itself is as recent as around 10,000 years. Around 25,000 BC, hunter gatherer communities ventured beyond the arctic circle into Russia and Siberia. This area was colonized by humans only after the retreat of Pleistocene ice around 14,000 years ago.
The key events of human history, pertaining to the development of agriculture, include stone tools of 7500 BC, copper and painted pottery of 4500 BC, carved rock faces of Norway with animal subjects of 4000 BC, Ertebelle culture with pointed-bottomed pots and oval bowls. Also, complex wickerwork of 3600 BC, passage tombs, dolmens of megalith, stone blocks of 3500-2500 BC that show organized endeavors, hand formed decorated pottery and year-round settlements of 2800 BC, artisan work of 2500-2000 BC and the burial mounds of elite households of 2200-1600 BC etc. The forest farmers initially seem to have ventured into agriculture and livestock husbandry, which has been evidenced in Central Sweden, South Norway where the Pitted Ware (hunter-gatherer with some agriculture) started and believed to have spread into southern Sweden and parts of Denmark from 5,900 BC onwards. From 4,800 BC onwards, Late Neolithic Farmers and Stock Herders appeared on the scene combined with Corded Ware tradition, marking the changes in agricultural societies of Scandinavia with small, rather isolated settlements of indefinable groups of agriculturists. From 4,500 BC onwards, independent agriculture started and 3,800 BC onwards the Bronze Age dawned in Norway and Sweden, giving way to technologically advanced agricultural tools. Eastern Europe seems to have continued with part time farming supported by seasonal dwelling practices and a hunters' way of life for a long time. The Linearbandkeramic farming culture spread across Central Europe, but agricultural foodstuffs were introduced in the late Mesolithic and the delay is attributed to flourishing fishing and hunting which avoided the dire need for agricultural products. Later, there is an abundance proof to show that differentiation in status, class and trade held sway over agriculture in these parts as the burial mounds show.



Even though Price agrees with most of the above arguments, some of his claims are rather unprecedented. He says by middle Neolithic period, wheat was 96% of the cereals and barley was 22% at later Funnelbeaker sites. In this period, cattle were becoming indispensable representing 80% of the animal husbandry. Technology was slowly being introduced into the agriculture, pottery and weapons. "The common anthropological background of the dualist society tradition, as it originates from Durkheimian sociology, is mirrored in the separation of peasant society from tribal ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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