Agriculture In Mesoamerica Essay

859 words - 3 pages

Agriculture was fundamental to prehistoric societies and an addictively trend that eventually replaced hunter-gathers societies. It has become debatable if agriculture produced Jordon Childe’s ‘Neolithic Revolution’ or that it served ulterior purposes in religious and social agendas but it is certain that it spread across the world possibly through natural cause or the direct influence of human activity. In the case of Mesoamerica these debates tend to favour agriculture as a revolution to improve sustenance and result from both the intentional actions of humans and the natural environment that endorsed productivity.
Agriculture expanded in Mesoamerica gradually due the ideal conditions that allowed natural expansion compared to the ‘Neolithic Revolution’ Jordon Childe suggests. Maize originated from teosinte much earlier than the innovation of pottery and before hunter-gather societies settled into villages. The variety of crops from agriculture result independently before spreading later to the American Southwest and the Northern America during the Formative period. The optimal foraging theory could explain the role of human actions in spreading of agriculture as a by-product of rational societies adapting from the Mesoamerican example for self-interest of reproducing valuable food sources. This belief was easily spread through group-to-group diffusion between societies within and later to Southwest America. However it is also vital to accept that the environment played a fundamental role in how agriculture in the Americas could spread so widely from Mesoamerica. Although maize was introduced into the Eastern North America as the dominant agricultural plant intensively, chenopods, marsh elder and sunflowers were domesticated earlier due to environment that allowed these plants to naturally prosper without the need of intensive intervention. The migration patterns of foraging bands in Mesoamerica since the >>> demonstrates this movement to more moister and favourable conditions for maize cultivation. It is the combination of both the natural context in which agriculture was able to flourish with the aid of hunter-gathers society in selecting productive plants that served their nutritional interests that ensured the sustainability and stable growth of agriculture into other parts of America before maize intensification occurred.
The fertile environment of Mesoamerica provided the necessities of sustenance but with the addition of maize, squash and nuts to their diet created greater range of nutrition than foraging alone. To rely on agricultural goods alone would not have benefited productivity as early forms of agriculture depended on more expenditure of energy than amount of energy obtained but the rarity of these foods in the wild endorsed societies to grow their own produce sustainably. The development of maize prior to the...

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