Agricultural times - 10.000 years  19th century


swing plough
Swing plough

Millstone for grains

Agricultural and food techniques

The development of agricultural productivity involves 3 basic stages of development: 

Manual agriculture (def.), which substitutes the tools of production for the tools used for food gathering.  The hoe (to prepare the soils) is probably the most universal tool (cf. A. Leroi-Gourhan), even if this terminology is sometimes misused (cf. F. Sigaut); for harvesting grasses, the sickle is essential.

Animal-powered agriculture (def.), with swing ploughs, ploughs and harrows. Invented as early as 4000 years BP in the Middle East,  animal-powered agriculture increased in efficiency in the Middle Ages, when horses replaced cows with the help of several inventions such as the harness, the horseshoe, the hooks, hasps, etc.
Water mills (later wind mills) facilitated the grinding of cereals. Hydraulic power drove bellows and hammers in blacksmith shops. Thus the way to industrial times was opened.

Motorised agriculture, which really did not come into use in the countryside until the middle of the 20th century.

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