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Biological and/or social consequences of humans switching from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to a farming lifestyle - Essay Example

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Instructor 30th April 2013 Biological and Social Consequences of Humans Switching from a Hunter-Gatherer Lifestyle to a Farming Lifestyle Archeologists date the beginning of Neolithic agriculture to between 5000 and 10000 years ago (Weisdorf 1), and state that hunter-gatherer groups were dominant in the period dated over 10,000 million years ago…
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Biological and/or social consequences of humans switching from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to a farming lifestyle
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"Biological and/or social consequences of humans switching from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to a farming lifestyle"

Download file to see previous pages Some of the present hunter-gatherer communities include the San of the Kalahari, Pygmy of Congo Forest, Hadza and Okiek of East Africa. Hunter-gatherer communities have some of the following features that make them unique in modern society. The community greatly depends on subsistence technology; in which there food is not processed or stored but consumed and the remainder left to rot. The hunter-gatherer community has no fixed settlement patterns or dwellings, but consists of small groups ranging from 10 to 30 persons. The community has no social obligations, norms, as rules are set by the whole group, and a person can leave whenever they want. There is also no property ownership and they live an egalitarian life whereby, a person food and property is for the whole community (Stiles 8). A biological consequence caused by change to agriculture is the rise of health cases and diseases among the hunter-gatherer. These diseases are caused by the narrow resources available for farming making humans use chemicals and genetically modified foods for consumptions. These foods have low nutritional value compared to the naturally occurring foods, which was present for the traditional hunter-gatherer (Khatry 6). The rise of agricultural activities has had both positive and negative consequences to the biological and social activities of the hunter-gatherer communities. The shift to agricultural activities has increased dependency on cultivated and domesticated plants and animals for food. This contrasts the hunter-gatherer nature whereby they follow the course of nature (Khatry 3-4), who gathered naturally growing plant and wild animals for food. Farming has encroached natural habitats to clear more land for farming activities limiting hunter-gatherer activities. Rise in civilization has also caused a biological imbalance in the physical environment, as humans change from the egalitarian hunter gathering to farming, which requires surplus food for food security increasing pressure on the land. This leads to loss of the biological habitat of food and animals as more land is cleared by humans for farming activities. Farming led to the growth in civilization as settlements develop in areas, which have high food productivity. This growth of population increases demand for food resources making hunter gatherers to adopt animal husbandry and plant growing to cater for their increasing number, over a limited geographical area (Habu 1). The increased pressure causes massive vegetation clearance by humans, which in results causes climatic changes in some areas. Population pressure from other communities living in the same geographical areas as the hunter-gatherer led to assimilation of the other cultures. This implies that with the increased interaction between the hunter-gatherer communities with the others, they learn new social cultures and develop social norms, which did not exist before (Stiles 2). Dressing codes and social interaction of the hunter-gatherer communities have changed with foreign cultures presented by other farming communities. This interaction with other communities who practice agriculture has made the hunter gatherer communities to learn new languages. This means that their natural language influence reduces as more communities join them to practice farming in the land (Stiles 6). Agriculture increases pressure for land ownership between the hunte ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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