Agriculture and Animal Husbandry

Authored by: Douglas Brewer

The Egyptian World

Print publication date:  September  2007
Online publication date:  May  2013

Print ISBN: 9780415427265
eBook ISBN: 9780203820933
Adobe ISBN: 9781136753770

10.4324/9780203820933.ch10

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Abstract

The earliest undisputed evidence for an agricultural way of life in Egypt comes from the delta site of Merimda and sites in the Fayum and dates to just before 5000 BC, approximately 2,000 years later than the origins of agriculture in south-west Asia. Currently, there are no generally accepted explanations as to exactly how or why domesticates entered Egypt, nor how a settled agricultural lifestyle became established and spread throughout the Nile Valley. Explanatory models of peoples migrating into the valley as well as hypotheses involving the diffusion of ideas or goods (rather than human populations) have adherents, and environmental deterioration, population pressure and technological innovation have been proposed as catalysts for the adoption of agriculture in Egypt. Regardless of the mechanics of introduction, the speed at which domesticates and agricultural practices spread throughout the Nile Valley reflects the rapid cultural transformation that occurred at this time, and all scholars agree that the development of agriculture substantially changed the character of Egypt, its landscape and its people.

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