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Ancient Agriculture

  • G. W. B. Huntingford
Extract

In the first volume of ANTIQUITaYp pear two papers, one by Dr R. C. C. Clay, dealing with the formation of lynchetsl ; the other, by Dr E. Cecil Curwen, containing a survey of prehistoric agriculture in Britain.2 These papers, which are of considerable interest to the farmer as well as to the archaeologist, have suggested the following remarks, which I was unable to put on paper before as some of my books were in England.

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References
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1 ‘ Some Prehistoric Ways ’, ANTIQUITY19, 27, I, 54-65.

2 ‘ Prehistoric Agriculture in Britain ’, Ib., I, 261-89.

3 Our ‘ bar-point ’, share.

4 e.g. Vergil ; Varro, R.R. 1, 29, 2; and Festus, cf. Offringi, S.V. p. 523 (ed. Dacier, Valpy’s ed., London, 1826).

5 Fream, Elements of Agriculture, ed. 10, p. 47. Fream is also mistaken, I think, in supposing that the old ploughs did not invert the soil.

6 I understand ‘ currus ’ as a wheeled forecarriage on the strength of Servius comment’. See Conington in loc; see also Pliny, XVIII, §18,48.

7 Verg., Georg., I, 169-175

8 ‘ The Georgicks of Virgil ’, by John Martyn, F.R.s., ed. 5 (Oxford 1827), p. 40. Figs. I, 2, 3.

9 Verg., Georg., I, 64.

10 Varro, R.R., 1 29, §183. Ed. Goetz (Teubner).

11 Festus, p. 319, S.V. Imporcitor. The porcae described above must not be confused with others ‘aquae derivandae gratia’ (ib. p. II )which were open drains.

12 R.R. 11, 4, 8.

13 R.R. I, 29, 92.

14 Taking ‘resupinus’ proleptically.

15 N.H. XVIII, $18, 48. And Pliny’s words ‘Latitudo vomeris cespites versat’ (loc.cit.). are conclusive.

16 The probable etymology of ‘ porca ’ is porcus, and the literal meaning ‘ little pig ’.

17 Only when a tractor is used is one ploughing sufficient under normal tropical conditions.

18 Fream, loc. cit., 47.

19 Reliquary, N.S. 11, 219.

20 Burkitt, M.C. Our Earb Ancestors, plate 28, fig. I.

21 After Wilkinson, Ancient Egyptians, abridged ed., 1854, 11 fig. 359.

22 Rouzic, Z. le Keller, C Locmariaker : La Table des Marchands. (Nancy, 1910).My own copies of these are at present inaccessible to me ; figs. 8 and 9 are therefore after Le Rouzic.

23 Georg, . 1, 95.

24 So Martyn.

25 Incidentally, one of the men in fig. 6 appears to be twisting an ox‘s tail, a common method in Africa of inducing a lazy ox to move.

26 Festus, , p. 339, Irpices, S.V. ‘ A kind of iron rake with many teeth for tearing out weeds in the fields ’.

27 In a ‘ Shepherd’s Calendar ’, in the Brit. Mus. ; figured in Ditchfield, Old Village Life, p. 137.

27 DrCurwen, considers that lynchets were not formed intentionally (p. 273).

29 Pliny, N.H. 17, §186, 4, seq.

30 Mabinogion ; quoted by Curwen, , p. 287.

31 Daubeny, , Lectures on Roman Husbandry, p. 124, quoted by Conington, Vergil (Bibl. Class.), 1 159.

32 I take the Nandi as an example although they are a pastoral tribe, because their agricultural system (borrowed from the Bantu Kavirondo) is very well defined ; and because I am much better acquainted with their methods than with those of other tribes.

33 The old-fashioned process of paring and burning formerly practised in England.

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Antiquity
  • ISSN: 0003-598X
  • EISSN: 1745-1744
  • URL: /core/journals/antiquity
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