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Old December 7th, 2015, 01:27 AM   #1

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Hunter Gatherers


I feel ignorant asking this question, what did early peoples gather? I think I know what they hunted but if you'd like to make me feel more ignorant, please go right ahead. Thanks.
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Old December 7th, 2015, 02:02 AM   #2

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They gathered what was in season, of course, and that varied by area. Some things, like nuts, would last longer than, say, peaches, so they could horde those. I imagine they watched the animals at first, noting what they ate so as to know what was safe to eat. This would have been very important when it came to things like shellfish. The animals knew instinctively when to eat clams growing close to shore, and humans who ignored them got sick or died.

It was, obviously, a boom-or-bust economy. When the fruit trees were ready they'd have lots of apples, but they had to watch most of them rot on the ground or be eaten by other animals. Hunting was the staple when nothing was ready to gather, but that depended on the skill of the hunters and luck.

So, if you want to know specifically what they gathered you would have to consult a paleo-botanist and tell that expert what area and time you're discussing.
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Old December 7th, 2015, 04:08 AM   #3

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The foundations of what became the modern diet was the development of grains. Wheat, rice, corn and the like. All the grains evolved from grasses, and it seems early humans included grass. We selected those grasses with the largest grains, and as fixed agriculture developed it was the size and weight of the grains produced that we concentrated on. We as a species still are very dependent upon those crops. Wheat, Rice and Corn hybridized for thousands of years often produce surplus crop yields, and can be easily stored for long periods. Surplus food allows for more domesticated animals, so the quality and quantity of our protein intake increased. Grain surpluses freed humans from the relentless effort to stave off famine, and promoted specialization of the workforce. Human health improved and we started living longer.
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Old December 7th, 2015, 04:14 AM   #4

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Grain surpluses also promoted stability of location. Hard to move all the grain around with you, and you didn't have to follow the herds if you could eat when they were gone.
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Old December 7th, 2015, 05:19 AM   #5

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Honey.
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Old December 7th, 2015, 05:21 AM   #6

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Honey.
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Old December 7th, 2015, 06:46 AM   #7
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I think the point is that they didn't stop to farm, they just gathered what naturally occurred in nature. According to the Hebrew g-d, he didn't want us being hunter-gatherers. That's why the laws of Kashrut came around. He wanted us to stop wandering and become farmers. He didn't want us to eat wild game, he wanted us to have livestock.
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Old December 7th, 2015, 07:43 AM   #8

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fruits, nuts, berries, maybe even small birds, eggs, mammals, anything edible and in range.
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Old December 7th, 2015, 07:45 AM   #9

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Quote:
Originally Posted by OpanaPointer View Post
They gathered what was in season, of course, and that varied by area. Some things, like nuts, would last longer than, say, peaches, so they could horde those. I imagine they watched the animals at first, noting what they ate so as to know what was safe to eat. This would have been very important when it came to things like shellfish. The animals knew instinctively when to eat clams growing close to shore, and humans who ignored them got sick or died.

It was, obviously, a boom-or-bust economy. When the fruit trees were ready they'd have lots of apples, but they had to watch most of them rot on the ground or be eaten by other animals. Hunting was the staple when nothing was ready to gather, but that depended on the skill of the hunters and luck.

So, if you want to know specifically what they gathered you would have to consult a paleo-botanist and tell that expert what area and time you're discussing.
Animals can eat things humans cannot and vice versa. Like a pet cat or dog cannot eat vegetables consistently without getting sick, humans are converse. I think a lot of trial and error and death and sickness had to have happened, especially as humans moved into new climates/regions.
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Old December 7th, 2015, 10:12 AM   #10

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Yes, sweetie? Click the image to open in full size.
That's the thing about Historum. If one means bee barf he should just say bee barf.
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