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Agricultural Industry

Anatomically modern humans evolved about 200,000 years ago. During most of their existence, humans subsisted by hunting and gathering. Between about 10,000 and 5,000 years ago, however, humans in several parts of the world developed agriculture, an achievement that led to the rise of civilization. From its origins, agriculture was the primary economic activity and remains so in many parts of the globe. Government, the class system, armies, large-scale trade, writing, and education all depended on the secure food supply that agriculture made possible. Surplus goods allowed people to specialize in other pursuits, though their numbers cannot have been large. Through antiquity, the food surplus was only some 10 percent, meaning that only 10 percent of the population could escape from farming. Yet the cities ...

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