As I have said before, the Neolithic Revolution is the singular most important era in human history, in my opinion. It is also called the Agricultural Revolution. Without it, civilization as we know it would never have been possible.
I would also submit that the people who domesticated wild plants and animals were incredibly intelligent. They had to tame wild animals and develop substantial foodstuffs from much different wild plants. This was genetic selection done correctly.
It may supprise people just how many of our favorite foods originated in Mesoamerica (roughly southern Mexico down into Costa Rica). If you throw in northwestern South
America, an area not far from Mesoamerica, there are even more. Surprisingly few foods have their origns in North America, but there are some. None would probably be called staples, while corn developed in Mesoamerica and potatoes in the South American Andes are major staples.
Why Mesoamerica as a significant region of agricultural development, especially given relatively close proximity to the Pacific Ocean and Gulf of Mexico for fishing? It was one region of many dotted around the globe developing agriculture during the few thousand years of the Neolithic era.
Well, we do know that the environmental conditions were more than adequate to support agriculture. A bigger question is why did agriculture develop at all? And how did they actually do it and what were their farming methods? All fascinating subjects that are constantly debated by by archaeologists, cultural anthropoligists, historians, geographers, and others. These are all topics for other posts.
Tags: agricultural anthropology, Agricultural revolution, agriculture, Andes, anthropology, archaeology, corn, fish, fishing, food anthropology, Gulf of Mexico, Mesoamerica, Neolithic, Neolithic Revolution, North America, origins of agriculture, Pacific Ocean, plant origins, potato, South America, staple, staple food