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July 11, 2012

Nomads as post-hunter-gatherers

Filed under: Anthroplogy,Nomadism — Razib Khan @ 11:28 pm

There’s a new paper in PLoS ONE which seems to confirm domesticate goat or sheep in southern Africa ~4,000 years ago. This is of particular interest because it may shed some light on the prehistoric migration of the Khoikhoi populations of the region, which predate the Bantu. In First Farmers Peter Bellwood argues that the anthropological evidence indicates that it is difficult for a non-farming population to adopt farming wholesale. Groups such as Pygmies in Central Africa are engaged in the farming economy, but only in symbiosis with farmers proper, and generally as landless laborers. But nomadism might be a contrast. I have observed that it seems while Australian Aboriginals have not taken keenly to farming, they have become integrated in the pastoral economy of Australia. Nomadism is quantitatively different from hunting & gathering, but the skillset is not too different.

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