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Article de périodique
Kuijt, Ian
What do we really know about food storage, surplus, and feasting in preagricultural communities? Rethinking the Origins of Agriculture
Merced : University of California Press , 2009, pp. 641-644

Périodique : Current Anthropology, Octobre, 5, 50

Résumé : In studying the origins of agriculture it is critical that we envision food production as a long-term human process that centers on the control and management of cycles of plant reproduction, including the harvesting, storage, and planting of seed stock. Drawing upon a growing body of literature illustrating multiple trajectories and pathways to agriculture, I see domestication as developing through coevolution between human beings and the resources they exploited. A more detailed understanding of the process and pathways of the origins of agriculture requires us to disentangle a complex knot of different yet interrelated factors, including food storage, food surplus, and feasting. I argue that archaeologists have yet to develop a detailed understanding of the scale and economic contributions of food storage in preagriculturalist communities. Evidence from the Near East indicates that use of storage practices increased dramatically after domestication. Analysis indicates that while there was a level of food storage in predomesticate and agricultural context, it was small scale. Finally, I argue that in some cases, discussions of food storage and feasting been reduced to claims of universal importance rather than a contextualized and detailed exploration within a specific cultural, temporal, and geographical case study.

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