The Beginnings of Agriculture c. 5000 BC

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Map Code: Ax01395

The domestication of animals and crops for human consumption occurred independently in a number of regions around the world between roughly 13,000 BCE and 6000 BCE. Dogs were one of the first species to be domesticated, playing an important role in hunting wild animals and later herding livestock animals for humans. Goats and pigs were some of the first domesticated livestock animals, being domesticated in Mesopotamia around 10,000 BCE, whilst pigs were also domesticated separately in other places such as China. Of the so called ‘founder crops’, which established early agriculture in western Asia around 9,500 BCE, wheat was the first to be cultivated on a large scale, whilst rice originated in East Asia as the staple crop. The domesticated crops and animals that became dietary staples in North and South America developed completely independently of those in the so called ‘old world’ as full contact was not established between the two hemispheres until the late 1400s.

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