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Handout 1: Domestication and Disease
Instructions: Read the column on the left and answer the questions posed in the
space provided using the Concept map on the overhead.
The year is 4000BCE and animal
domestication has begun. You live in
the deserts of the Middle East where it
can get very cold in winter and during
other seasonal evenings. Sand storms
can kill crops and animals alike if left
Q1: How do you protect yourself and
your livestock from harm?
Q2: How do you keep warm inside your
home if wood is a rare commodity?
Agriculture has begun. Plants are
grown in one place year after year.
Q3: How do you prevent the soil from
losing its nutrients?
Q4: Where is water coming from to
irrigate the plants?
Q5: Where does human waste go to?
Q6: Where are crops stored?
Q7: Are storage areas impenetrable?
Q8: What invades them?
Unknown to the humans in this new world of domesticated life and growing
sophistication, a new enemy is lurking. It is invisible to the naked eye and
potentially deadly. It is the infectious disease.
Before domestication, nomadic people
continually moved in search of food by
following herds of large game and did
not live closely to large herds of
animals for long periods of time.
Q9: Why did infectious disease not
exist during nomadic times?