The origin of agriculture is one of the defining events of human history. Some 10,000 years ago, bands of hunter-gatherers started to abandon their high-mobility lifestyles in favour of growing crops and the creation of settled, sedentary communities. This settlement in favour of the agricultural lifestyle triggered the evolution of complex political and economic structures and technological developments, and ultimately underpinned the rise of ail the great civilisations of recent human history. Domestication of Plants in the Old World reviews the origin and spread of cultivation in south-west Asia, Europe, and north-east Africa, from the very earliest beginnings. This new edition incorporates the most recent findings from molecular biology about the genetic relations between domesticated plants and their wild ancestors; it adds material on several new crop plants ; and it incorporates extensive new archaeological data about the spread of agriculture within the region. The reference list has been completely updated, as have the list of archaeological sites and the site maps.