First Farmers Wanted Clothes, Not Food

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People turned to farming to grow fiber for clothing, and not to provide food, says one researcher who challenges conventional ideas about the origins of agriculture.
Ian Gilligan, a postgraduate researcher from the Australian National University, says his theory also explains why Aboriginal Australians were not generally farmers.

Gilligan says they did not need fiber for clothing, so had no reason to grow crops like cotton.

He argues his case in the current issue of the Bulletin of the Indo-Pacific Prehistory Association.

"Conventional thinking assumes that the transition to farming was related to people's need to find new ways of getting food," said Gilligan. "That doesn't really make sense for a number of reasons."
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