Document Detail

The proof is in the pudding: feasting and the origins of domestication.
MedLine Citation:
PMID:  20642144     Owner:  NLM     Status:  MEDLINE    
Feasting has been proposed as the major context and impetus behind the intensification of production leading to the domestication of plants and animals. This article examines the way feasting contributes to fitness in traditional societies through the reduction of risks involving subsistence, reproduction, and violent confrontations. As other authors have noted, the risk-reduction strategies used by simple foragers differ significantly from risk-reduction strategies used by transegalitarian hunter-gatherers and horticulturalists. These differences are examined in more detail and are related to the emergence of feasting in transegalitarian societies. Surplus-based feasting is proposed as an entirely new element in community dynamics, probably first developed during the Upper Paleolithic in Europe, but becoming much more widespread in the world with the development of Mesolithic technology. Because feasting entails survival and risk-reduction benefits, it creates inherently inflationary food-production forces. These elements first appear among complex hunter-gatherers and logically lead to the intensification of food production, ultimately resulting in the domestication of plants and animals.
Brian Hayden
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Publication Detail:
Type:  Historical Article; Journal Article    
Journal Detail:
Title:  Current anthropology     Volume:  50     ISSN:  0011-3204     ISO Abbreviation:  Curr. Anthropol.     Publication Date:  2009 Oct 
Date Detail:
Created Date:  2010-07-20     Completed Date:  2010-08-13     Revised Date:  -    
Medline Journal Info:
Nlm Unique ID:  0421035     Medline TA:  Curr Anthropol     Country:  United States    
Other Details:
Languages:  eng     Pagination:  597-601     Citation Subset:  QIS    
Archaeology Department, Simon Fraser University, Burnaby, British Columbia V5A 1S6, Canada.
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MeSH Terms
Agriculture / history*
Animal Husbandry / history*
Anthropology, Cultural
Cultural Evolution
Feeding Behavior*
History, Ancient

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