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Early Edition > Isaac I. T. Ullah, doi: 10.1073/pnas.1503628112 FETCH has the files containing the datasets: this is one

Description: These are datasets of human subsistence, mobility, demographic, and environmental variables for the 186 cultures of the Standard Cross Cultural Sample. Missing values have been filled by Multiple Imputation methods in the R statistical package. These data are used in an analysis about human subsistence transitions that is submitted to PNAS. The R script used to complete those analyses is also included.
Cite This:
Ullah, Isaac (2015): Cross cultural data for multivariate analysis of subsistence strategies. figshare.
Retrieved 18:33, Jul 25, 2015 (GMT)

Isaac I. T. Ullah, Ian Kuijt, and Jacob Freeman. 2015. Toward a theory of punctuated subsistence change

  • Significance: The questions of how, when, and why humans transitioned from hunting and gathering to food production are important to understand the evolution and sustainability of agricultural economies. We explore cross-cultural data on human subsistence with multivariate techniques and interpret the results from the perspective of human societies as complex adaptive systems. We gain insight into several controlling variables that may inordinately influence the possibilities for subsistence change and into why the forager–farmer transition occurred quickly in some cases and more gradually in others.

published ahead of print July 20, 2015,

Abstract: Discourse on the origins and spread of domesticated species focuses on universal causal explanations or unique regional or temporal trajectories. Despite new data as to the context and physical processes of early domestication, researchers still do not understand the types of system-level reorganizations required to transition from foraging to farming. Drawing upon dynamical systems theory and the concepts of attractors and repellors, we develop an understanding of subsistence transition and a description of variation in, and emergence of, human subsistence systems. The overlooked role of attractors and repellors in these systems helps explain why the origins of agriculture occurred quickly in some times and places, but slowly in others. A deeper understanding of the interactions of a limited set of variables that control the size of attractors (a proxy for resilience), such as population size, number of dry months, net primary productivity, and settlement fixity, provides new insights into the origin and spread of domesticated species in human economies.

complex adaptive systems subsistence change origins of agriculture social-ecological systems

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Proceedings of the National Academy