Back to the garden : nature and the Mediterranean world from by James H. S. McGregor

By James H. S. McGregor

The backyard was once the cultural origin of the early Mediterranean peoples; they stated their reliance on and kinship with the land, and so they understood nature during the lens in their diversely cultivated panorama. Their photograph of the backyard underwrote the biblical ebook of Genesis and the region’s 3 religions. For millennia, there has been no sharp divide among humankind and the land that was once domestic. to make sure, the weather might be harsh, their origins mysterious, yet there has been a frequent consensus that presumed a mostly harmonious operating courting with Nature. conventional agriculture within the old Mediterranean mimicked the major qualities of evidently taking place ecosystems. It used to be various, advanced, self-regulating, and resilient.
 
This dating successfully got here to an lead to the overdue eighteenth century, while “nature” used to be gradually equated with the untamed panorama without human intervention. within the early a part of the century, the human international, the rural realm, and the province of uncultivated nature have been one non-stop box without inner limitations. via century’s finish, notwithstanding, key writers had created a pointy divide inside of this continuum and separated the rural global from the area of nature. This abrupt and dramatic swap of sensibility upended ecological figuring out and had huge, immense consequences—consequences with which we're nonetheless struggling.
 
In Back to the Garden, James H. S. McGregor argues that the environmental concern the realm faces this day is due to the Western society’s abandonment of the “First Nature” principle—of the harmonious interrelationship of human groups and the wildlife. This crucial paintings deals a brand new knowing of environmental responsibility whereas presenting that convalescing the unique imaginative and prescient of ourselves, no longer as antagonists of nature yet as cultivators of a organic global to which we innately belong, is feasible via confirmed options of the previous. a lot has been misplaced, the panorama has been degraded, and standard wisdom has died away. yet there's nonetheless a lot that may be recovered, studied, and reimagined.

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Additional resources for Back to the garden : nature and the Mediterranean world from prehistory to the present

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The grains that these special and unusual sites produced were, Sherratt maintains, a rare and therefore precious commodity. Since relatively few areas were suited to their production, for many hundreds of years grain was a luxury commodity rather than a staple and had a high barter value. An alluvial fan is under cultivation today. ) It would have been traded for goods that the inhabitants of Jericho needed but did not produce locally. Among these goods was obsidian, a glasslike, durable volcanic rock that can be fractured to create exceedingly sharp-edged tools.

Mediterranean nations were the first colonial powers in the world, and the Westernization and modernization of Africa, Asia, and the Americas all began under the influence of Spain and Portugal. Colonialism and its evils matured under the dominance of northern European nations, but in spreading the influence and culture of the West for good or ill, Mediterranean powers cast the mold. The Mediterranean region magnified itself over the long span of its history both physically and in terms of its influence, and we can trace that movement well beyond the Mediterranean Sea.

Cro-Magnons embellished utilitarian objects like spear throwers with sculptures of animals. They created small animal images and statues with no link to any tool. Cave painting, their most ambitious and exciting art, was not happened on till the last quarter of the nineteenth century. More than any of their other arts, cave painting gives us insight into the way that anatomically modern humans understood the world around them. From their widespread paintings of herd animals and predators, we gain a sense of their close observation and evident reverence for the creatures that sustained them.

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