FST-01 Assignment SolutionFST-01 Question Paper Other B.Sc. Assignment Solution
Assignment Solution Booklet (Valid from 1st January to 31st December 2018)
(B.Sc.) FOUNDATION COURSE IN SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY [FST-01]
Q-1- Write a detailed account of the origin of agriculture and civilization.
Ans- Agriculture is the science, art, and business of growing crops and raising animals for food, medicine, fiber, timber, and various industrial products. In addition, it involves preparation, value adding and marketing of the resulting products to generate income.
The Origin of Agriculture:-
With the end of the last ice age, approximately 11,000 years ago, the climatic conditions fundamentally changed in many regions of the world. Temperature increases and altered precipitation patterns led to changes in vegetation. Forests became established in Central Europe and some other regions, replacing the treeless tundra or steppe that existed during the ice age. Distinct changes in the distribution of different vegetation zones also occurred in many regions of the tropics and subtropics. In addition, toward the end of the ice age, most of the large animal species that existed in the ice age environments of Europe, North America, and parts of Asia became extinct. However, it is unlikely that changes in climate were the sole cause for the disappearance of this fauna. Their habitat did not completely disappear, but shifted toward the north, so migration into today’s tundra regions was, in principle, possible and was achieved by a few species. Thus, musk oxen and reindeer still exist today, and the last dwarf mammoths became extinct 4,000 years ago on the Wrangel Islands in north-eastern Siberia. Another factor that probably contributed to the extinction of species among the large fauna of the ice age was hunting by humans.
In various regions of the world, the origin of agriculture dates back 11,000–10,000 years, during a phase in the climate that was accompanied by fundamental changes in the living conditions of organisms, including humans.
Why and how did the transition from hunting and gathering to farming occur? Numerous theories and models attempt to provide an answer to this. From these, two main groups of hypotheses can be distinguished:
- According to the first hypothesis, agriculture is an innovation that enabled a way of life that is advantageous compared with the hunter-gatherer existence. Some groups of humans discovered the potential of producing plants in fields, whereby these earliest farmers not only acquired a secure source of food but also became sedentary. This also initiated cultural progress and, overall, a higher standard of living. Such groups served as examples for the hunter-and-gatherer groups, which subsequently also began to practice agriculture.
- According to the second hypothesis, a shortage of food resources (primarily the lack of wild animals for the hunters) was the precondition for the development of agriculture. Reasons for this include an increase in human population density in combination with decreases in big-game species because of overhunting. According to this view, the transition to agriculture was not a voluntary act, but rather occurred as a result of the need to find alternative sources of food. By no means does this have advantages over hunting and gathering, but is more labor and time-intensive and is, in addition, associated with the risk of crop failures and thus with hunger.
Complete dependence of humans on agriculture only emerged after wild animals and plants could no longer make a significant contribution to the food supply of the growing population.
The Origin of Civilization
Civilization is considered to have started in Mesopotamia, between the two rivers Euphrates and Tigris (in modern day Iraq, Syria, Kuwait, and Iran). It was the eastern part of the fertile crescent (western part extending to the Nile valley in Egypt). The first “country” that started civilization was Sumer, which lied in the southern part of Mesopotamia, near the coast of the Persian Gulf.
All the earliest civilizations started in great river valleys, like Sumer (Mesopotamia), Egypt (Nile), China (Yangtze) and India (Ganges). This was because the land near the rivers was easy to irrigate and became fertile for crops. People settled down and abandoned the hunter-gatherer culture when they started to harvest crops. This is called the agricultural revolution and it was the beginning point of civilization, although it took a long time, the agricultural revolution in the Neolithic stone age 10 000 BCE was long before the invention of writing (and thus the beginning of history) at 3000 BCE. It takes time to develop a civilization though.
When people settled down, they formed villages and villages became towns and later cities. When humans were still hunter-gatherers, they didn’t have time to do much anything else than hunt and gather. When people started to seed useful plants, they suddenly had much more time to do anything else than just watch the crops to grow. This lead to many great innovations, such as the wheel, and writing, which were both invented by the Sumerians.
Great innovations invented in Mesopotamia include agriculture, irrigation, cities, the wheel, carts and chariots, the plow, sailing ships, measuring of time, astronomy, astrology, maps, mathematics, cuneiform writing.
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