What is cultivation?
Cultivation, unlike domestication, is only applied to plants. Cultivation covers a wide category of processes, such as plowing fields and sowing seeds as well as the harvest of purpose-grown crops and the storage of said crops. Cultivation required a large advance in human attitude towards the environment and a fast advance in technology. Early evidence on the subject pointed towards the fact that humans of the time were forced to begin cultivating the land due to increasing populations and the threat of starvation. However, a more recent theory is that one of the earliest reasons hunter-gatherers moved towards domestication was to produce higher or controlled amounts of high-value resources that could be used to events such as feasts. An example of this would be chilies, one of the first domesticated in the highland Mesoamerica. Chilies definitely aren’t a food source which one would use to stifle starvation in a community. Similar to the domestication this decision to take the success of reproduction of the chili into their own hands shows that the communities were beginning to understand better the concepts required for a full scale move towards agriculture and were aware that their input would result in a different outcome for the resource than if they just let it naturally grow.