By James H. S. McGregor
The backyard was once the cultural starting place of the early Mediterranean peoples; they stated their reliance on and kinship to the land, and so they understood nature throughout the lens in their diversely cultivated panorama. Their photo of the backyard underwrote the biblical booklet of Genesis and the region’s 3 significant religions.
In this crucial melding of cultural and ecological histories, James H. S. McGregor means that the environmental main issue the realm faces at the present time is because of the Western society’s abandonment of the “First Nature” principle--of the harmonious interrelationship of human groups and the wildlife. the writer demonstrates how this courting, which endured for millennia, successfully got here to an lead to the past due eighteenth century, whilst “nature” got here to be equated with untamed panorama with out human intervention. McGregor’s crucial paintings bargains a brand new knowing of environmental responsibility whereas presenting that getting better the unique imaginative and prescient of ourselves, no longer as antagonists of nature yet as cultivators of a organic international to which we innately belong, is feasible via confirmed strategies of the earlier.
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Additional resources for Back to the Garden: Nature and the Mediterranean World from Prehistory to the Present
The early humans, like today’s, lived off the land and depended for their survival on the resources that it offered. Without imagining particular prohibitions or ethical norms, it is still possible to imagine the Cro-Magnon painter capturing a world in which survival required heightened awareness. Indeed, the cave paintings themselves are products of exactly this kind of awareness. The ability to draw animals with such grace, fluidity, and expressiveness requires more than manual dexterity and artistic technique.
8 Every prehistoric culture is represented archaeologically by its repertoire of tools and tool-making techniques. The French archaeologist Nicholas Mahudel first proposed differentiating early societies in this way in the early eighteenth century; a hundred years later, in the 1820s, Christian Jurgensen Thomsen classified exhibits at what became the Danish National Museum using similar techniques. Every ancient culture could in theory be represented in many other ways as well, but the durability of stone ensures it a disproportionate 16 Forging First Nature place in the archaeological record.
Given these complexities, it is no surprise that the genetic history of the olive tree is vexed. It appears to be the case that cultivated olives are closer genetically to the oleasters of the eastern Mediterranean than to those of the western part of the region. This suggests that the cultivated olive originated in the east and spread through the Mediterranean basin in much the same way as cereal crops, The genus Ficus, to which the domestic fig belongs, thrives in tropical or semitropical climates worldwide.