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Jarmo: A Village Early Farmers in Iraq

  • Robert J. Braidwood (a1) and Linda Braidwood (a2)

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There is a body of theory, most clearly delineated in recent years by V. Gordon Childe, concerning the importance of the appearance of Food-Production as a basic economic revolution. The domestication of plants and animals assured a stable food supply. Proper village life now came into being, and with it a completely new kind of technology. This latter depends on the fact that time now became available for pursuits other than that of simply collecting food. The theory holds it to be no coincidence that such crafts as architecture, pottery, weaving, and presently metallurgy make their appearance with the establishment of Food-production. These crafts make use of materials constructively, and in some cases actually change the physical or chemical properties of the materials. Such a technology was not characteristic of the preceding Food-gathering stage. The Food-producing revolution and the type of technology which attended it were at least the economic prerequisite for the appearance of civilization (in any useful sense of that word).

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1 And Jericho levels 10-17 as well? The flints, at least, seem consistent within the whole range from Jericho 17 through 9. And what indications are available of architectural plan seem also to be consistent throughout some of these levels including 9.

2 The staff during our 1948 campaign at Matarrah and Jarmo consisted of Dr Faraj Basmachi of the Directorate General of Antiquities, Miss Charlotte Otten, a graduate student on grant from the Department of Anthropology of the University of Chicago, and ourselves for the Oriental Institute. We are deeply indebted to the Director General and all of his staff for their cooperation, and to our colleagues in Anthropology for enabling Miss Otten to be with us.

3 This does not necessarily mean that Jarmo stands just two centuries following the beginnings of Food-production, as we do from the beginnings of Industrialization. The actual rate of acceleration was probably slower. But before Dr Libby’s date became available, we had guessed that Jarmo might have an antiquity of c. 6000 B.C. The later Carbon date does not depress us, however. It suggests rather that once Food-production came into being, the rate of cultural acceleration—relative to those times—was as remarkable as the rapid technological advances of our own.

Jarmo: A Village Early Farmers in Iraq

  • Robert J. Braidwood (a1) and Linda Braidwood (a2)

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