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Evolution, consequences and future of plant and animal domestication

Abstract

Domestication interests us as the most momentous change in Holocene human history. Why did it operate on so few wild species, in so few geographic areas? Why did people adopt it at all, why did they adopt it when they did, and how did it spread? The answers to these questions determined the remaking of the modern world, as farmers spread at the expense of hunter–gatherers and of other farmers.

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Figure 1
Figure 2: Ancient and modern centres of agriculture.
Figure 3: The continental major axis is oriented east–west for Eurasia but north–south for the Americas and Africa.

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Acknowledgements

It is a pleasure to acknowledge my debt to P. Bellwood, A. Ehrlich, K. Flannery, I. Hodder and B. Smith for valuable suggestions.

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Correspondence to Jared Diamond.

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Diamond, J. Evolution, consequences and future of plant and animal domestication. Nature 418, 700–707 (2002). https://doi.org/10.1038/nature01019

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