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Agriculture

(7,403 words)

Author(s): Hruška, Blahoslav (Prague) | Pingel, Volker (Bochum) | Schneider, Helmuth (Kassel) | Osborne, Robin (Oxford) | Schreiner, Peter (Cologne) | Et al.
I. Near East and Egypt [German version] A. Introduction In the Near Orient (particularly the southern Levant and Syria) and Egypt, a fundamental change in the history of mankind occurred 12,000 years ago: the transition from the hunter-gatherer life of paleolithic times to neolithic agrarian society. In the so-called ‘fertile crescent’ and in Egypt, agriculture almost always included livestock farming. Agriculture also encompassed the planting of fruit trees, viticulture and horticulture. The methods of food production led to increasing freedom from dependency on e…

Plough

(838 words)

Author(s): Hruška, Blahoslav (Prague) | Ruffing, Kai (Münster)
[German version] I. Ancient Near East and Egypt The plough (Sumerian APIN, Akkadian epinnu, Egyptian hb.w) probably originated in the ancient Near East and Egypt (but also in India and China). In Egypt, the transition from hoe to plough in agriculture may have taken place as early as during the Naqada II period (3700/3600-3200 BC), although the first conclusive evidence originates from the Early Dynastic Period (late 4th millennium BC). Likewise, while the plough may well be older in the Near East, simple ard-…