Journal article

Pharmacological Influences on the Neolithic Transition

Greg Wadley, Brian Hayden

Journal of Ethnobiology | SOC ETHNOBIOLOGY | Published : 2015


While uncertainty remains as to the relative importance of the factors that propelled Neolithization at different sites, a model is gaining traction that proposes that cereal cultivation was adopted in part to produce alcohol for competitive feasting. The model ties together the emergence of two key phenomena-cereal cultivation and social inequality-and is supported by a variety of archaeological and ethnographic data. However pharmacological theory has not yet been explicitly deployed in the presentation of the model rather its development has relied on a common-sense understanding of the effects of alcohol and its cross-cultural importance in social life. Our aim in this paper is to bring ..

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Funding Acknowledgements

Greg Wadley would like to thank Prof. Angus Martin of the University of Melbourne for discussion and advice. Brian Hayden's research on feasting was supported by the Canadian Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council.