First Farmers: The Origins of Agricultural Societies –

Important and interesting, but ultimately this is a very difficult academic read Which is a shame as the subject matter, and particularly the early chapters are fascinating.Full review I thoroughly enjoyed this book, which is packed with an amazing amount of information I would say, though, that it s geared toward those who are already fairly well versed in archaeology to some degree I didn t find it dry or boring, but rather it was incredibly well researched and the author s arguments well supported It is rather encyclopedic in delivery, which is surprising given the book s length, but that is illustrative of the Bellwood s knowledge on the subject On any given page, you can find at least 2 or 3 topics worthy of extensive further reading, yet this book proves self sufficient in how it presents ancient civilization s spread across the earth and he compares contrasts the conditions, characters, and consequences related to the 5 main independent agricultural geneses One thing I appreciated about the book is that Bellwood has an Asian Pacific island view on history, and so I found it much informative on those areas than the usual western emphasis on the Fertile Crescent Some conclusions are controversial, such as his regarding the population of Madagascar s ancestry, but are nonetheless firmly planted in a sea of research and supporting data opinions If you want an in depth look at the origins of human civilization, this is a terrific choice If you have no previous exposure to the subject, I wouldn t consider it a good introduction That s not to say you have to be a PhD to understand it, because I m not one and I got it just fine But you have be kind of interested in the topic to begin with in order for the book not to seem dry. Very technical, dry Lots of interesting things but overly academic for my taste. First Farmers the Origins of Agricultural Societies offers readers an understanding of the origins and histories of early agricultural populations in all parts of the world.Uses data from archaeology, comparative linguistics, and biological anthropology to cover developments over the past 12,000 yearsExamines the reasons for the multiple primary origins of agricultureFocuses on agricultural origins in and dispersals out of the Middle East, central Africa, China, New Guinea, Mesoamerica and the northern AndesCovers the origins and dispersals of major language families such as Indo European, Austronesian, Sino Tibetan, Niger Congo and Uto Aztecan