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Rethinking Agriculture

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About the Author

Timothy P. Denham is a Research Fellow in the School of Geography and Environmental Science at Monash University. His research builds upon the pioneering investigations of Jack Golson and colleagues and focuses upon early to mid-Holocene plant exploitation and early agriculture in the Highlands of Papua New Guinea. Since 2003, he has published extensively on this research, including articles in Science, Antiquity, Proceedings of the Prehistoric Society and World Archaeology, and he co-edited (with Chris Ballard) a volume of archaeology in Oceania entitled Perspectives on Prehistoric Agriculture in the New Guinea Highlands.Jose Iriarte is Lecturer in Archaeology at the Department of Archaeology, University of Exeter. He is a palaeo-ethnobotanist whose research interests focus on the origins and dispersal of agriculture, human-environment interactions, and the emergence of early Formative (Neolithic) cultures in lowland South America.Luc Vrydagh completed his Doctor in Sciences at the Ghent University (UG), having already completed a degree in Philosophy of Sciences and one in African Civilisation at the Free University of Brussels (ULB). His research is concerned with the phytolith analysis of archaeological deposits produced by agricultural practices in tropical, arid and temperate areas. Currently, he is a scientific collaborator with the Royal Museum for Central Africa and the Royal Belgian Institute of Natural Sciences, and he is the founding president of ROOTS, a unit specialising in archaeological and palaeoenviromental sciences.h"


" excellent and timely compendium of current thinking and debate on the topic...There is much to be learned and thought about here. The editors and contributors should be congratulated for producing such a fine piece of work. The volume is sure to assume considerable prominence and have lasting significance in the intertwined realms of theory, concepts, data, and interpretation in agricultural origins." --Dolores R. Piperno, Journal of Anthropological Research

"In a concise and ambitious opening chapter authors are challenged to critically evaluate concepts such as domestication, centres of origin and the farmer/gatherer dichotomy in defining agriculture as well as the scale of analysis suitable for the investigation of agricultural prehistories. The following papers provide a wealth of new information, at times overwhelming, of significance for both the narrative of ancient agriculture and methodology construction." --Andrew Fairbairn, Archaeology in Oceania

"Most readers will find the contents fresh and, in places, challenging. This volume is a significant addition to the growing literature on alternative ideas about the development of agriculture in different parts of the world. This review cannot do justice to the 21 contributions by a wide range of authors." --Tim Maggs, South African Archaeological Bulletin

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