The younger dryas and hunter-gatherer transitions to food production in the near east

Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingChapterpeer-review


The shift in human approaches to subsistence from gathering unpredictable, wild floral resources to the scheduled production of plant food marks a critical threshold in human prehistory that not only dramatically changed how humans procured food resources, but also contributed to widespread, far-reaching changes in human settlement patterns, social organization, and cultural lifeways. By intentionally planting certain floral types or enhancing wild plant stands selected for their dietary or economic value, forager-gatherers could increase the predictability of their plant food resources and reduce risk to their overall subsistence base. In the Near East, the transition from forager-gatherer lifeways to ones dependent on the use of plant cultivars appears to be intimately tied to the Younger Dryas, a period of global cooling and increased aridity that lasted from 12, 900 to 11, 700/11, 600 cal BP (Alley et al. 1993; Rasmussen et al. 2006).

Original languageAmerican English
Title of host publicationHunter-Gatherer Behavior
Subtitle of host publicationHuman Response During the Younger Dryas
Number of pages36
ISBN (Electronic)9781315427126
StatePublished - 23 May 2016
Externally publishedYes

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • General Social Sciences
  • General Arts and Humanities


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