There's been a lot of stuff written in recent years about how mankind shifted from a hunter gatherer lifestyle into an agricultural lifestyle. It's long been thought that a bunch of dumb humans were wandering around chasing buffalo or wooly mammoths or something, and then happened across a field where a bunch of corn or wheat was growing.
Somebody realized that if they planted the seeds, and waited around for them to grow, they could have an easier way to get food. After all, planting some seeds in the ground and then hanging out for a couple months was a lot safer than chasing some animal that didn't really want to be eaten.
But recent scientists, with advanced carbon dating methods, have started to wonder about the order of events. They can tell based on remains left in early cities how long they've been there for. They can also tell through DNA testing when certain crops were domesticated. It was long thought that crops were domesticated, and after they figured that out, they started building big cities around them.
But recent evidence suggests that may be backward. It suggests that cities came first, and then the plants, and later animals were domesticated after that. This is puzzling, because nobody can figure out why early humans just decided to stop chasing animals, and start eating plants.
One theory is that people discovered that this happened after they discovered that plant based food could be stored. After all, if you killed a huge wooly mammoth, you didn't have a long time before the meat went bad. It's not like they could stick it in the freezer. But with plant food, like corn or other grains, whoever grew it could store it. This represented the first way early humans stored wealth.
This meant that the first farmers became farmers because they wanted to store wealth. They wanted to plan for their future. You can understand why if you've got kids. You may have had a rough childhood, or did some things you wish you didn't do. Then when you have kids, you think to yourself, "Gee, I hope he doesn't have to go through what I went through."
The earliest farmers then, perhaps stopped chasing animals and started storing plant food as a means to store up wealth and pass it on to their kids. Once more and more people started doing this, they got better and better at building farms and growing food. Which meant that they slowly domesticated many crops into what we have today.
So the early farmers were the real pioneers. The first wealth creators. If you're a farmer, or you'd like to become a farmer, then you are part of a long history of wealth creating pioneers that transformed human society. Good for you!
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