The invention of the plow

Comparative Studies in Society and History Vol/Iss. 24 Published In Pages: 727-743
By Pryor, Frederic L.


This study examines three theories of the origin of the plow. The author rejects the universalist approach on the basis that not all cultures that are aware of the plow adopt its use. Findings provide partial support for a theory focused on population density, particularly the importance of fallowing practices and labor productivity. The author’s own ecological approach, pointing to a culture’s staple food as a crucial variable, also receives empirical support.

Documents and Hypotheses Filed By:Kate Cummings Amelia Piazza