By Wilma George, Yapp. W. B.

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Leading the flocks to fresh grazing areas and drinking water also helped to ensure that the animals remained healthy and productive. 21 Accordingly, had a population increase not occurred it is questionable whether AGRICULTURE AND THE ORIGINS OF CIVILIZATION the domestication of plants and animals would have ever taken place. Once people began to intercede actively in the development of edible plants, cereal grains began to increase in size as well as expand their range outside the nuclear zone.

The proportion of carbon-12 to carbon-14 is the same in plants and animals as it is in the atmosphere: about a million million to one. Carbon-14 differs from carbon-12 because it is radioactive, meaning that it decays or deteriorates at a constant rate over a given period of time. This radioactive decay is going on all around us all the time in the air, the oceans, and the soil. It is important not to confuse the normal organic decay that takes place after the death of any living organism with the radioactive decay of carbon-14.

Getting started Before work could begin the site had to be surveyed using a theodolite, measuring tapes, and a ranging rod. Site contours were then mapped on a plan and divided into a grid of 6 m by 6 m squares. All archaeological sites must be surveyed so that when objects are found their exact location can be determined. Before the survey could begin, a single location called the “datum point” was established, and it is in relation to this point that walls, rooms, burials, pottery, and occupation areas are drawn on a series of detailed plans for the entire site.

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