The first book-length overview of agricultural development in the ancient world
A Companion to Ancient Agriculture is an authoritative overview of the history and development of agriculture in the ancient world. Focusing primarily on the Near East and Mediterranean regions, this unique text explores the cultivation of the soil and rearing of animals through centuries of human civilization—from the Neolithic beginnings of agriculture to Late Antiquity. Chapters written by the leading scholars in their fields present a multidisciplinary examination of the agricultural methods and influences that have enabled humans to survive and prosper.
Consisting of thirty-one chapters, the Companion presents essays on a range of topics that include economic-political, anthropological, zooarchaeological, ethnobotanical, and archaeobotanical investigation of ancient agriculture. Chronologically-organized chapters offer in-depth discussions of agriculture in Bronze Age Egypt and Mesopotamia, Hellenistic Greece and Imperial Rome, Iran and Central Asia, and other regions. Sections on comparative agricultural history discuss agriculture in the Indian subcontinent and prehistoric China while an insightful concluding section helps readers understand ancient agriculture from a modern perspective.
•Fills the need for a full-length biophysical and social overview of ancient agriculture
•Provides clear accounts of the current state of research written by experts in their respective areas
•Places ancient Mediterranean agriculture in conversation with contemporary practice in Eastern and Southern Asia
•Includes coverage of analysis of stable isotopes in ancient agricultural cultivation
•Offers plentiful illustrations, references, case studies, and further reading suggestions
A Companion to Ancient Agriculture is a much-needed resource for advanced students, instructors, scholars, and researchers in fields such as agricultural history, ancient economics, and in broader disciplines including classics, archaeology, and ancient history.