10,000 years ago: domestication of different plants and animals
10,000 years ago, in Southwest Asia, in the area known as the Fertile Crescent, the domestication of animals, mainly sheep and goats, began. Domestication of plants, such as wheat, peas and olives, started there as well.
The control of this process allowed the inhabitants of the region to turn into sedentary societies. Hence, human settlements emerged for the first time. The oldest inhabited settlement in the world is the present city of Jericho.
Interestingly, agriculture and the domestication of animals originated independently in different parts of the world and at different times.
In each case, the plants and the animals were those that already existed in the area:
- Millet, rice, pork, and silkworms were domesticated in China around 9500 years ago.
- In Middle America, corn, beans, squash, and turkey were domesticated around 5,500 years ago.
- In the Andes and the Amazon, potatoes, cassava, llama and guinea pigs were domesticated around 5500 years ago.
- In Eastern United States, sunflower and Chenopodium were domesticated about 4,500 years ago, but no animals.