TEE EARLIEST AGRICULTURE. Agriculture began in prehistoric times, when primitive man first began to select particular plants in his imme diate environment as preferable to others for His use as food or for making his clothes, and when he fir-4 directed his efforts toward pro moting the growth of plants. Whether these attempts preceded those to capture and confine animals, with a view to employing them as beasts of burden, or to using their meat, milk, or skins, we do not know. It is, however, clear, that while the migratory habits of savage tribes must have tended to hinder anything like systematic. cultivation of the soil, they probably did not prevent the domestication of animals.
The practice; of some aboriginal tribes at the present time indicate that efforts to promote the growth of useful plants by the removal of other plants growing anicmg them antedates the plant ing of seeds, Similar evidence points to the be ginning of agrivilltural implements in the use of pointed and forked sticks to scratch the soil or remove obnOX1011ti vegetation. The union of
two such sticks with a leathern thong made a rude mattock or hoe, and a larger implement of the same kind formed the primitive plow, which was drawn, very likely, at first by men and afterward by domesticated animals. The great burden of agricultural labors was in those early ages undoubtedly thrown upon W0111:111, as has been the ease among the tribes of North Amcriein Indians, whose men have devoted themselves almost exelosivel• to the chase and to war. It is interesting to observe that severe military requirements still necessitate the em ployment of women in field labor on the conti nent of Europe.