Re: Civilization? FEH.

Donald Tucker (bs925@FreeNet.Carleton.CA)
4 Nov 1996 07:44:51 GMT

"Colin M. Alberts" ( wrote:

[in response to comments on why civilization arose]

>Not to seem like an anarchist or anything, but I remember reading
>recently that anthropologists who examine human remains from
>hunter-gather societies are always surprised to find that almost without
>exception they find them to have been healthier and enjoyed better
>nutrition throughout their lives than human remains examined from early
>civilizations. If the need for food is the proximate cause of
>civilization, it may be that for a few thousand years it was something of
>a failed experiment.

The better health of hunter-gather societies--compared to people in
"civilization", at least until the modern West, has been recognized for a
long time--usually this is a comparison of bones to determine age and
condition at death.

Agriculture, when it moved from being a way to supplement
hunter-gathering to a full time job--was a *lot* more work than
hunter-gathering. Even the few that remain in existance in marginal
environment have a life style that requires only a few hours of work a

As I said in another post, it was only after hunter-gathering could no
longer yield enough food that people had to broaden their food sources by
attempting horticulture [small scale agriculture] and/or animal
domestication--and thus begin the process heading towards "civilization."

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