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  • How Neolithic farming sowed the seeds of modern inequality 10,000 years ago | Inequality | The Guardian

    The extraordinary productivity of modern farming techniques belies just how precarious life was for most farmers from the earliest days of the Neolithic revolution right up until this century (in the case of subsistence farmers in the world’s poorer countries). Both hunter-gatherers and early farmers were susceptible to short-term food shortages and occasional famines – but it was the farming communities who were much more likely to suffer severe, recurrent and catastrophic famines.

    Hunting and gathering was a low-risk way of making a living. Ju/’hoansi hunter-gatherers in Namibia traditionally made use of 125 different edible plant species, each of which had a slightly different seasonal cycle, varied in its response to different weather conditions, and occupied a specific environmental niche. When the weather proved unsuitable for one set of species it was likely to benefit another, vastly reducing the risk of famine.

    As a result, hunter-gatherers considered their environments to be eternally provident, and only ever worked to meet their immediate needs. They never sought to create surpluses nor over-exploited any key resources. Confidence in the sustainability of their environments was unyielding.

    #agriculture #chasse-cueillette #résilience #néolithique

    • Le scénario se précise donc. Ce n’est donc pas simplement « l’agriculture » (avec l’abondance, la capacité de stocker, de partager ou de ne pas partager) qui est source d’inégalité, mais l’utilisation soudaine par certains, et pas d’autres, de chevaux ou de boeufs pour labourer...

      Voir aussi :

      Super-rich shown to have grown out of ancient farming
      Robin McKie, The Guardian, le 10 Decembre 2017

      Article original : Greater post-Neolithic wealth disparities in Eurasia than in North America and Mesoamerica.
      Kohler TA, Smith ME, Bogaard A, Feinman GM, Peterson CE, Betzenhauser A, Pailes M, Stone EC, Marie Prentiss A, Dennehy TJ, Ellyson LJ, Nicholas LM, Faulseit RK, Styring A, Whitlam J, Fochesato M, Foor TA and Bowles S, Nature 551:619-622, 30 Novembre 2017

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