Chapter 6 Summary

To begin his discussion about why agriculture took longer to arise in some places than in others, Diamond compares the five areas of the world that have particularly fertile climates: southwest Asia’s Fertile Crescent, southwestern Europe, California, southwestern Australia, and South Africa’s Cape. Agriculture arose independently in the Fertile Crescent in 8500 B.C. and spread to southwestern Europe around 5500 B.C. In the other three places, agriculture was absent until after 1500 A.D., when colonists from Europe began carrying their crops and food-production techniques to other continents.

Diamond explains that food production techniques evolved slowly over time. The lives of early farmers were not much different...

(The entire section is 716 words.)