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Activity: Comparing Crops

Purpose

Take a closer look at some of the earliest farming civilizations and the plants and animals they domesticated. Download the PDF of the Agrarian and Civilization infographic.
This quick exercise using the Agriculture and Civilization Infographic has you consider the regional differences in agriculture by comparing the plants and animals that were critical in each of the regions where agriculture first appeared. This activity will help you pull simple information from the infographic to answer more complex critical thinking questions about the origins of agriculture and the inequalities in natural resources between the world zones.

Process

Study the Agriculture and Civilization Infographic and think about the following questions:
1. What are the geographic similarities between the six early agrarian civilizations highlighted on the infographic?
2. Why do you think agriculture began in the Fertile Crescent about 3,000 to 2,500 years before farming in any other location?

For Further Discussion

In the Questions Area below, post your answer to one of the questions above. Then, expand someone else’s answer for the question that you did not answer yourself.

Want to join the conversation?

  • blobby green style avatar for user Bill Hunt
    2.) While the supplied infographic does not provide complete information, it appears that the Mesopotamian area is a crossroads between three separate continents. The exchange of technology and primitive trade through the area very likely could be a factor in their early agrarian development.

    1.) As said, these areas all lie at or near the same parallel. Additionally, they all are in places that receive significant rainfall and/or have large river systems that provide well irrigated fertile soil.
    (7 votes)
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    • leafers seed style avatar for user Joan_Cosby
      When looking at the Mesoamerica and Andes patterns I notice that these are in more mountainous regions which may have led to some challenges in developing successful agricultural practices. That could help to explain the significant delay when compared to the other civilizations. I would expect that the population density would be lower in this area during the 9000 to 6000 BCE period reducing the need to intensify land use.
      (5 votes)
  • spunky sam green style avatar for user Sabrina Groom
    1.) One of the geographic similarities between the six early agrarian civilizations are that they all had a large number of heavy rainfalls.

    2.) I think agriculture began in the Fertile Crescent is because things were already growing there that they could eat so they just learned to care for the crops so they would keep producing food.
    (3 votes)
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  • blobby green style avatar for user Anna  Ignateva
    1. All these places lie approximately on the same parallel
    2. Maybe there was most developed civilization of all then. The people lived long time in the same place becouse that place was rich enough. And they started to be something new than only different families - some kind of society. Then there were climate changing, but that society could survive and started the agriculture.
    (3 votes)
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    • blobby green style avatar for user Omar Alzaydi
      Survivalism, the practice of preparing for a crackup of civilization, tends to evoke a certain picture: the woodsman in the tinfoil hat, the hysteric with the hoard of beans, the religious doomsayer. But in recent years survivalism has expanded to more affluent quarters, taking root in Silicon Valley and New York City, among technology executives, hedge-fund managers, and others in their economic cohort.
      (0 votes)
  • blobby green style avatar for user texasbob1414
    #2 Two rivers, The Tigris and the Euphrates, regularly flooded the region. The Nile River runs through part of it, agriculture developed here because of the fertile soil found near these rivers. Access to water helped with farming and trade routes.
    (1 vote)
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