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Domestication of Plants in the Old World: The Origin and Spread of Domesticated Plants in Southwest Asia, Europe, and the Mediterranean Basin

Domestication of Plants in the Old World
Daniel Zohary, Maria Hopf, and Ehud Weiss
Oxford University Press
Publication Date: 

decorated boards, 243 pp., $99.99

Archeologists have viewed the domestication of plants and development of agriculture as a starting point of civilization. When bands of hunter-gatherers gave up their wandering lifestyles and settled to farm the land, they developed settled communities and formed political and economic systems. The fourth edition of this work contains a considerable amount of new information on the origin of agriculture. The authors record such major changes as improved radiocarbon dating and comparison of different sites; additions and deletions to the listing of archeological sites; improved methodologies; records summarizing the spread of Asian Neolithic crops; and changes in nomenclature of areas, as recommended by geographers. In addition there is a summary of activities, referred to as “the state of the art.” This material is suitable reading for graduate level students and researchers in the field of crop science, agriculture, anthropology, and related areas.

— Marilyn K. Alaimo, garden writer and volunteer, Chicago Botanic Garden