Story of Farming 

 

Development of Farming

African

Chinese

European (middle ages)

Egypt

Greek

India

Mayan

Mesopotamia

Roman

Development of Cities

African

Arabian

Egyptian

Greek

Indian

Mesoamerican

Mesopotamian

Roman

Bibliography

 

L2070

Mesoamerican Farming 

The following are raw research notes on the development of Farming in Ancient Mesoamerica.

    Native Americans were among the greatest plant domesticators. Archaeologists believe that Native Americans were originally big game hunters who followed the animals across an ice bridge which spanned the Bering Strait. Each of the different cultural areas developed their own unique agricultural styles. The South American Natives of the Olmec, Aztec, Inca, and Maya all had agriculture as a large part of their food resources.  

    Plant cultivation consisted in the area which is current day Mexico, Guatemala and Honduras and surrounding regions.  One of the main crops was maize. Irrigation began to be used and populations came around religious centers where pyramids and temples were built. (3F)  The main form of crop productions is know as Slash and BurnSlash and burn takes a section of jungle or forest and cut down all the vegetation and burns it.  The ashes from the burned vegetations provide good crop land for several years.  After the soil becomes depleted the land is left to grow over with natural vegetation again and new land is cleared and burned.(16F)  In this area maize, squash, pumpkin, gourd, chili peppers, and avocados were also grown by the natives. (3F)

"An impressive array of Native American plants was domesticated by American Indians and Agricultural systems eventually evolved sufficient to support the civilizations of Chavin, Olmec, Maya, Aztec, Inca and others..... As we shall see, the American Indians were among the most skillful of all plant domesticators and it is difficult to understand why it should be thought that they were devoid of originality with respect to plant manipulation." (Pg. 227) (3F)