Get Back to the Garden: Nature and the Mediterranean World from PDF

By James H. S. McGregor

ISBN-10: 0300197462

ISBN-13: 9780300197464

The backyard was once the cultural beginning of the early Mediterranean peoples; they said their reliance on and kinship to the land, they usually understood nature in the course of the lens in their diversely cultivated panorama. Their photo of the backyard underwrote the biblical ebook of Genesis and the region’s 3 significant religions.

In this significant melding of cultural and ecological histories, James H. S. McGregor means that the environmental obstacle the area faces this day is because of the Western society’s abandonment of the “First Nature” principle--of the harmonious interrelationship of human groups and the wildlife. the writer demonstrates how this courting, which endured for millennia, successfully got here to an result in the past due eighteenth century, whilst “nature” got here to be equated with untamed panorama with out human intervention. McGregor’s crucial paintings bargains a brand new figuring out of environmental responsibility whereas offering that convalescing the unique imaginative and prescient of ourselves, now not as antagonists of nature yet as cultivators of a organic global to which we innately belong, is feasible via confirmed thoughts of the earlier.

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Extra info for Back to the Garden: Nature and the Mediterranean World from Prehistory to the Present

Example text

Beyond this composite figure is a cave lion walking away but looking back. The apparently human trunk and legs with a bull’s head attached is unique not only as a representation of the human figure but also as an assemblage of body parts that do not cohere in nature. The singularity of this minotaur-like creature has led investigators to call it a shaman. The drawings in Chauvet Cave pose the questions that cave art has raised from the start—namely, Who was it for? What purposes did it serve? Explanations range from the literal to the symbolic.

All these crops were descendants of wild grasses that foragers, like those living in the earliest period at Jericho and Abu Hureyra, had gathered for hundreds of years. Edged Neolithic Revolutions 35 tools for cutting the stalks of wild grains and grinders for transforming their seed into meal existed long before the grasses became domesticated. Both technologically and temporally, the transition from a forager’s lifestyle to that of a cultivator was slow and incremental. As foragers morphed into farmers, the wild plants they cultivated changed as well.

The change in environment does not stop the genetic process, but it introduces new conditions that redirect it. Many traits that existed before remain essential to a crop’s success, but some features that helped the plant survive in the wild are not favored by cultivation, so over time these diminish or disappear altogether. Alterations of this kind are what make cultivated grains different from their wild progenitors and what make domestication traceable in the archaeological record. In the wild, ripe seeds that fall from a grass germinate at different rates depending on the thickness of their husks.

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Back to the Garden: Nature and the Mediterranean World from Prehistory to the Present by James H. S. McGregor


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