‘Multi-cropping’, Intercropping and Adaptation to Variable Environments in Indus South Asia

  title={‘Multi-cropping’, Intercropping and Adaptation to Variable Environments in Indus South Asia},
  author={Cameron A. Petrie and Jennifer Bates},
  journal={Journal of World Prehistory},
  pages={81 - 130}
  • C. Petrie, J. Bates
  • Published 9 May 2017
  • Geography, Medicine
  • Journal of World Prehistory
Past human populations are known to have managed crops in a range of ways. Various methods can be used, singly or in conjunction, to reconstruct these strategies, a process which lends itself to the exploration of socio-economic and political themes. This paper endeavours to unpack the concept of ‘multi-cropping’ by considering diversity and variation in the cropping practices of the populations of South Asia’s Indus Civilisation. It argues that nuanced interpretations of the evidence provided… 
An interdisciplinary framework for using archaeology, history and collective action to enhance India’s agricultural resilience and sustainability
South Asia has a deep history of agriculture that includes a range of past farming systems in different climatic zones. Many of these farming systems were resilient to changes in climate and
Feeding ancient cities in South Asia: dating the adoption of rice, millet and tropical pulses in the Indus civilisation
Abstract The first direct absolute dates for the exploitation of several summer crops by Indus populations are presented here. These include rice, millets and three tropical pulse species at two
Oilseeds, spices, fruits and flavour in the Indus Civilisation
  • J. Bates
  • Geography
    Journal of Archaeological Science: Reports
  • 2019
Abstract The exploitation of plant resources was an important part of the economic and social strategies of the people of the Indus Civilisation (c. 3200–1500 BCE). Research has focused mainly on
Intercropping—A Low Input Agricultural Strategy for Food and Environmental Security
Intensive agriculture is based on the use of high-energy inputs and quality planting materials with assured irrigation, but it has failed to assure agricultural sustainability because of creation of
Cereals, calories and change: exploring approaches to quantification in Indus archaeobotany
Several major cereal groups have been identified as staples used by the pre-urban, urban and post-urban phase populations of the Indus Civilisation (3200–1500 BCE): wheat, barley, a range of small
Dry, rainfed or irrigated? Reevaluating the role and development of rice agriculture in Iron Age-Early Historic South India using archaeobotanical approaches
The evidence presented here shows that, contrary to accepted narratives, rice agriculture in the Iron Age-Early Historic South India may not have been supported by irrigated paddy fields, but may have relied on seasonal rainfall as elsewhere in the subcontinent.
Pastoralism, climate change, and the transformation of the Indus Civilization in Gujarat: Faunal analyses and biogenic isotopes
Abstract The Indus Civilization (2600–1900 BCE), South Asia’s first urban society, underwent a momentous social transformation towards the end of the third millennium BC, that culminated in urban
Feeding the herds: Stable isotope analysis of animal diet and its implication for understanding social organisation in the Indus Civilisation, Northwest India
Abstract The way that people manage their livestock tells us about their interactions with the landscape, particularly the nature of adaptation to specific environments, social organisation,
Kitchen gardens, wild forage and tree fruits: A hypothesis on the role of the Zaid season in the indus civilisation (c.3200-1300 BCE)
Abstract The nature of agriculture in the Indus Civilisation of South Asia (c.3200-1300 BCE) remains a topic of intense debate. Traditional models of Indus agriculture have been built on the
The Agriculture of Early India
South Asia possesses a unique Neolithic transition to agricultural domestication. India has received far less attention in the quest for evidence of early agriculture than other regions of the world


Crop manuring and intensive land management by Europe’s first farmers
Previously undescribed stable isotope determinations of charred cereals and pulses from 13 Neolithic sites across Europe show that early farmers used livestock manure and water management to enhance crop yields and suggest that commonly applied paleodietary interpretations of human and herbivore δ15N values have systematically underestimated the contribution of crop-derived protein to early farmer diets.
‘Garden agriculture’ and the nature of early farming in Europe and the Near East
This paper takes a comparative approach to early farming, arguing that bioarchaeological work on Neolithic Europe can inform understanding of earlier cultivation and herding in the Near East, where
Early agriculture in South Asia
This introduction traces the origins of agriculture and the character of early agricultural communities across the world and surveys the development of the more complex social structures and cultural
If the Threshing Floor Could Talk: Integration of Agriculture and Pastoralism during the Late Harappan in Gujarat, India
Cultivation of crops as a distinct economic activity is a complex human behavior that needs to be clearly demonstrated in archaeological contexts, particularly to determine whether crop grains were
Agrarian ecology in the Greek islands: time stress, scale and risk
A botanical study of crop processing was undertaken on the semi-arid, southern Aegean islands of Karpathos and Amorgos. The present article provides details of the crop processing activities, and
Feeding ancient cities in South Asia: dating the adoption of rice, millet and tropical pulses in the Indus civilisation
Abstract The first direct absolute dates for the exploitation of several summer crops by Indus populations are presented here. These include rice, millets and three tropical pulse species at two
Water management and labour in the origins and dispersal of Asian rice
The spread of rice, which has played an important role in models of Neolithic population dispersal in Southeast Asia, may have been triggered by the development of more intensive management systems and thus have required certain social changes towards hierarchical societies rather than just rice cultivation per se.
Millets and Herders: The Origins of Plant Cultivation in Semiarid North Gujarat (India)
Botanical evidence suggests that North Gujarat (India) was a primary center of plant domestication during the mid-Holocene. However, lack of systematic archaeobotanical research and significant
Shifting cultivators in South Asia: Expansion, marginalisation and specialisation over the long term
This paper will consider alternative perspectives on the long-term history of shifting cultivation in India and Sri Lanka. Ethnographic and historical accounts of shifting cultivation, often by
Distinguishing the Effects of Agricultural Practices Relating to Fertility and Disturbance: a Functional Ecological Approach in Archaeobotany
The autecological method of analysis known as FIBS (functional interpretation of botanical surveys) is applied to a study of the present-day weed floras associated with different levels of