Mark Pluciennik has presented us with an excellent and original piece of research. His conclusion that the current categorisation of pre-industrial societies into hunter-gatherers and farmers is, effectively, a modern invention represents a continuation of his earlier investigations into this subject (1998; 2001). He supports this conclusion with very convincing arguments, and offers a historically contingent explanation in terms of the coalescence of several ideological and economic ‘currents’ which, in the course of the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, led to the establishment of a categorical distinction between ‘savage hunter-gatherers’ and ‘civilised farmers’. In my comment, I would like to focus on two issues, broadly following the structure of his paper: (1) in general terms, are we really dealing with yet another ‘invented tradition’, spawned by the need for an ideological justification for the supremacy of western capitalist ideology and economic order? (2) How do we categorise early farming, fishing, hunting and gathering communities in the past, if at all?