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Encyclopedia > Neolithic Revolution

The Neolithic Revolution is the term for the first agricultural revolution, describing the transition from nomadic hunting and gathering communities and bands, to agriculture and settlement, as first adopted by various independent prehistoric human societies, in numerous locations on most continents between 10-12 thousand years ago. The term refers to both the general time period over which these initial developments took place and the subsequent changes to Neolithic human societies which either resulted from, or are associated with, the adoption of early farming techniques and crop cultivation - the domestication of animals. The first agricultural revolution introduced dramatic social changes, including a dramatic increasing population density, specialization in non-agricultural crafts, such as clay figurine making, basic and artistic furniture skills; barter and trade; the organization of hierarchical society; the introduction of slavery; armies; the state, official religions; official marriage; and personal inheritance. This revolution marked a dramatic expansion of human "control" over nature and of humans over humans. In anthropology, the hunter-gatherer way of life is that led by certain societies of the Neolithic Era based on the exploitation of wild plants and animals. ... This article is about modern humans. ... For other uses, see Society (disambiguation). ... An array of Neolithic artifacts, including bracelets, axe heads, chisels, and polishing tools. ... This article is about modern humans. ... For other uses, see Society (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Farm (disambiguation). ... Dogs and sheep were among the first animals to be domesticated. ... Arts and crafts comprise a whole host of activities and hobbies that are related to making things with ones own hands and skill. ... Barter is a type of trade that do not use any medium of exchange, in which goods or services are exchanged for other goods and/or services. ... It has been suggested that Commerce be merged into this article or section. ... A hierarchy (in Greek hieros = sacred, arkho = rule) is a system of ranking and organizing things. ... Slave redirects here. ... An army comprises all of a nations land-based military forces or a specific large military force. ... For other uses, see State (disambiguation). ... Marriage is an interpersonal relationship with governmental, social, or religious recognition, usually intimate and sexual, and often created as a contract, or through civil process. ... This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... “Natural” redirects here. ...


In particular, in opposition to the carryable personal property and communal property of the nomadic hunter-gatherer, a new way of life began that introduced private property, private ownership of land and buildings, valuable artifacts (and later accumulated money) - a private ownership system protected by the state that allowed one man to have control over the livelihoods of others. Systemic slavery also emerged in human evolution in this period, in almost all continents, where captured humans were considered as "things", the private property of wealthy individuals and families. The walled town of Jericho was established almost 12,000 years ago, in which captured hunter-gatherers were enslaved. Personal property is a type of property. ... Communities of nomadic people move from place to place, rather than settling down in one location. ... This page deals with property as ownership rights. ... For other uses, see Money (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see State (disambiguation). ... Slave redirects here. ... The Taking of Jericho, by Jean Fouquet Near central Jericho, November 1996 Jericho (Arabic  , Hebrew  , ʼArīḥā; Standard YÉ™riḥo Tiberian YÉ™rîḫô / YÉ™rîḥô; meaning fragrant.[1] Greek Ἱεριχώ) is a town in Palestine, located within the Jericho Governorate, near the Jordan River. ...

Contents

Richard Leakey and Roger Lewin, in their book Origins, explain the human transition from cooperative and sharing communities, to agricultural settlement: In 1977, Leaky sat next to the rare Half Monkey Half Man, who took a bite out of him, and made Leaky cry. ... Roger Lewin, Ph. ...

"Why then, is recent human history characterised by conflict rather than compassion? We suggest that the answer to this question lies in the change in way of life from hunting and gathering to farming, a change which began about ten thousand years ago and which involved a dramatic alteration in the relationship people had both with the world around them and among themselves. The hunter-gatherer is part of the natural order: a farmer necessarily distorts that order. But more important, sedentary farming communities have the opportunity to accumulate possessions, and having done so they must protect them. This is the key to human conflict, and it is greatly exaggerated in the highly materialistic world we now live in."

The hunter-gatherer way of life was replaced by domestication of crops and animals, enabling people to live more sedentary lives. Permanent settlements arose, creating new social, cultural, economic, and political institutions. At first, agriculture was usually subsistence agriculture: people farmed for their own subsistence (not for sale or profit), and farmers practiced crop rotation (letting fields lie fallow between planting seasons). The need to leave fields in fallow sometimes lead to shifting cultivation, discouraging a strongly fixed sedentary lifestyle. Slash and burn methods of agriculture were closely linked to shifting cultivation, especially on the frontiers of agriculture where fire not only cleared the land for crops but could act as a temporary fertilizer. Similarly, the domestication of grazing animals like sheep and goat encouraged the use of fire to convert forest land into pasture.[1] In anthropology, the hunter-gatherer way of life is that led by certain societies of the Neolithic Era based on the exploitation of wild plants and animals. ... Look up crop in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... For other uses, see Animal (disambiguation). ... i am vegeta ... Although the term social is a crucial category in social science and often used in public discourse, its meaning is often vague, suggesting that it is a fuzzy concept. ... The word culture, from the Latin colo, -ere, with its root meaning to cultivate, generally refers to patterns of human activity and the symbolic structures that give such activity significance. ... Economics (deriving from the Greek words οίκω [okos], house, and νέμω [nemo], rules hence household management) is the social science that studies the allocation of scarce resources to satisfy unlimited wants. ... Politics is the process by which decisions are made within groups. ... Like most farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa, this Cameroonian man cultivates at the subsistence level. ... The following is a list of subsistence techniques: Hunting and Gathering, also known as Foraging freeganism involves gathering of discarded food in the context of an urban environment gleaning involves the gathering of food that traditional farmers have left behind in their fields Cultivation Horticulture - plant cultivation, based on the... Satellite image of circular crop fields in Haskell County, Kansas in late June 2001. ... Shifting cultivation is an agricultural system in which plots of land are cultivated temporarily, then abandoned. ... Assarting in Finland in 1892 Slash and burn (a specific practice that may be part of shifting cultivation or swidden-fallow agriculture) is an agricultural procedure widely used in forested areas. ...


The Neolithic Revolution is notable primarily for developments in social organization and technology. The changes most often associated with the Neolithic Revolution include an increased tendency to live in permanent or semi-permanent settlements, a corresponding reduction in nomadic lifestyles, the concept of land ownership, modifications to the natural environment, the ability to sustain higher population densities, an increased reliance on vegetable and cereal foods in the total diet, alterations to social hierarchies, nascent "trading economies" using surplus production from increasing crop yields, and the development of new technologies. The relationship of these characteristics to the onset of agriculture, to each other, their sequence and even whether some of these changes are supported by the available evidence remains the subject of much academic debate, and seems to vary from place to place. Ronda, Spain Main street in Bastrop, Texas, United States, a small town A town is a community of people ranging from a few hundred to several thousands, although it may be applied loosely even to huge metropolitan areas. ... Kazakh nomads in the steppes of the Russian Empire, ca. ... This article is about the natural environment. ... A plate of vegetables Vegetable is a culinary term which generally refers to an edible part of a plant. ... This article is about cereals in general. ... In nutrition, the diet is the sum of food consumed by a person or other organism. ... For other meanings see Economy (disambiguation). ... In agriculture, crop yield (also known as agricultural output) is a measure of the yield per unit area of land under cultivation. ...


Agricultural Transition

The term Neolithic Revolution was first coined in the 1920s by Vere Gordon Childe to describe the first in a series of agricultural revolutions to have occurred in Middle Eastern history. This period is described as a "revolution" to denote its importance, and the great significance and degree of change brought about to the communities in which these practices were gradually adopted and refined. A neologism (Greek νεολογισμός [neologismos], from νέος [neos] new + λόγος [logos] word, speech, discourse + suffix -ισμός [-ismos] -ism) is a word, term, or phrase which has been recently created (coined) — often to apply to new concepts, to synthesize pre-existing concepts, or to make older terminology sound more contemporary. ... Vere Gordon Childe (April 14, 1892, Sydney, New South Wales–October 19, 1957, Mt. ... In the Earths history there have been a number of agricultural revolutions. ...


This involved a gradual transition from a hunter-gatherer mode of subsistence which was practiced by all earlier human societies, to one based more upon the de nurturing and cultivation of crops for the purpose of food production. Evidence for the first beginnings of this process obtained from different regions dated from approximately 25,000 years ago in Melanesia to 2,500 BC in Sub-Saharan Africa, with some considering the events of 9000-7000 BC in the Fertile Crescent to be the most important. This transition everywhere seems associated with a change from a largely nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyle to a more settled, agrarian-based one, with the onset of the domestication of plants and of a number of animals. In anthropology, the hunter-gatherer way of life is that led by certain societies of the Neolithic Era based on the exploitation of wild plants and animals. ... Subsistence means living in a permanently fragile equilibrium between alimentary needs and the means for satisfying them. ... For other uses, see Plant (disambiguation). ... Melanesia (from Greek black islands) is a region extending from the west Pacific to the Arafura Sea, north and north-east of Australia. ... (Redirected from 2500 BC) (26th century BC - 25th century BC - 24th century BC - other centuries) (4th millennium BC - 3rd millennium BC - 2nd millennium BC) Events 2900 - 2334 BC -- Mesopotamian wars of the Early Dynastic period 2494 BC -- End of Fourth Dynasty, start of Fifth Dynasty in Egypt. ... A political map showing national divisions in relation to the ecological break (Sub-Saharan Africa in green) A geographical map of Africa, showing the ecological break that defines the sub-Saharan area Sub-Saharan Africa is the term used to describe the area of the African continent which lies south... Dionysius Exiguus invented Anno Domini years to date Easter. ... This map shows the extent of the Fertile Crescent. ... Kazakh nomads in the steppes of the Russian Empire, ca. ... In anthropology, the hunter-gatherer way of life is that led by certain societies of the Neolithic Era based on the exploitation of wild plants and animals. ... A family of Russian settlers in the Caucasus region, ca. ... Agrarian has two meanings: It can mean pertaining to Agriculture It can also refer to the ideology of Agrarianism and Agrarian parties. ... Dogs and sheep were among the first animals to be domesticated. ...


Incentive to settle

Hunter-gatherer lifestyles are the product of the depletion of the biological potential of a specific location, either through localised overhunting or over gathering, and lead to a movement to a new area where game and foodstuffs are not depleted, allowing the earlier ranges to recover. If sufficient foodstuffs can be gathered on a permanent basis from a specific locality, there is little incentive to move and permanent settlement may result. This will happen whenever local biological productivity is sufficient to permit permanent settlement. The equilibrium maximum of the population of an organism is known as the ecosystems carrying capacity for that organism. ... See biomass (ecology) for the use of the term in ecology, where it refers to the cumulation of living matter Switchgrass, a tough plant used in the biofuel industry in the United States Rice chaff. ...


Having a plentiful supply of basic food does not mean that depletion of important gathered vegetable products does not occur. But a settled population permits year-round observation of the growing cycle, and hunter-gatherers are keen observers of the environmental conditions optimal for specific plant products.


Domestication of plants

Once agriculture started gaining momentum, humans were unknowingly altering the genetic make-up of certain cereal grasses (beginning with emmer, einkorn and barley), and not simply those that would favour greater caloric returns through larger seeds. Plants that possessed traits such as small seeds, or bitter taste would have been seen as undesirable. Plants that rapidly shed their seeds on maturity tended not to be gathered at harvest, thus not stored and not seeded the following season; years of harvesting selected for strains that retained their edible seeds longer. Several plant species, the "pioneer crops" or Neolithic founder crops, were the earliest plants successfully manipulated by humans. Some of these pioneering attempts failed at first and crops were abandoned, sometimes to be taken up again and successfully domesticated thousands of years later: rye, tried and abandoned in Neolithic Anatolia, made its way to Europe as weed seeds and was successfully domesticated in Europe, thousands of years after the earliest agriculture.[2] Wild lentils present a different challenge that needed to be overcome: most of the wild seeds do not germinate in the first year; the first evidence of lentil domestication, breaking dormancy in their first year, was found in the early Neolithic at Jerf el-Ahmar, (in modern Syria), and quickly spread south to the Netiv Hagdud site in the Jordan Valley[3] This process of domestication allowed the founder crops to adapt and eventually become larger, more easily harvested, more dependable in storage and more useful to the human population. Plant breeding is the purposeful manipulation of plant species in order to create desired genotypes and phenotypes for specific purposes. ... Binomial name Triticum dicoccon Schrank Emmer wheat is a low yielding, awned wheat. ... Binomial name triticum boeoticum Einkorn wheat is a wild species of wheat, Triticum boeoticum. ... The Neolithic founder crops (or primary domesticates) are the eight species of plant that were domesticated by early Holocene (Pre-Pottery Neolithic A and B) farming communities in the Fertile Crescent region of Southwest Asia. ... Binomial name Secale cereale M.Bieb. ... Anatolia and Europe Anatolia (Turkish: from Greek: Ανατολία - Anatolia) is a peninsula of Western Asia which forms the greater part of the Asian portion of Turkey, as opposed to the European portion (Thrace, or traditionally Rumelia). ... Northern part of the Great Rift Valley as seen from space (NASA) The Jordan River The Jordan River (Hebrew: נהר הירדן nehar hayarden, Arabic: نهر الأردن nahr al-urdun) is a river in Southwest Asia flowing through the Great Rift Valley into the Dead Sea. ... Dogs and sheep were among the first animals to be domesticated. ...


Barley and, most likely, oats, were cultivated in the Jordan Valley, represented by the early Neolithic site of Gilgal, where in 2006 archaeologists found caches of seeds of each in quantities too large to be accounted for even by intensive gathering, at strata dateable c. 11000 years ago. Some of the plants tried and then abandoned during the Neolithic period in the Ancient Near East, at sites like Gilgal, were later successfully domesticated in other parts of the world. Gilgal is a place name in the Hebrew Bible. ... Process of weeding out competing plants, that may hinder the growth of a desired plant (i. ...


Once early farmers perfected their agricultural techniques, their crops would yield surpluses which needed storage. Most hunter gatherers could not easily store food for long due to their migratory lifestyle, whereas those with a sedentary dwelling could store their surplus grain. Eventually granaries were developed that allowed villages to store their seeds for longer periods of time. So with more food, the population expanded and communities developed specialized workers and more advanced tools. In agriculture, crop yield (also known as agricultural output) is a measure of the yield per unit area of land under cultivation. ... Granary at Thiruparaithurai, Kumbakonam (old temple town), built around 1600-1634 A granary is a storehouse for threshed grain or animal feed. ...


The process was not as linear as was once thought, but a more complicated effort, which was undertaken by different human populations in different regions.


Agriculture in Asia

The Neolithic Revolution is believed to have become widespread in southwest Asia around 8000 BC7000 BC, though earlier individual sites have been identified. Although archaeological evidence provides scant evidence as to which of the genders performed what task in Neolithic cultures, by comparison with historical and contemporary hunter-gatherer communities it is generally supposed that hunting was typically performed by the men, whereas women had a more significant role in the gathering. By extension, it may be theorised that women were largely responsible for the observations and initial activities which began the Neolithic Revolution, insofar as the gradual selection and refinement of edible plant species was concerned. For other uses, see Asia (disambiguation). ... (9th millennium BC – 8th millennium BC – 7th millennium BC – other millennia) Events The south area of Çatalhöyük. ... (8th millennium BC – 7th millennium BC – 6th millennium BC – other millennia) Events circa 7000 BC – Agriculture and settlement at Mehrgarh in South Asia circa 6500 BC – English Channel formed circa 6100 BC – The Storegga Slide, causing a megatsunami in the Norwegian Sea circa 6000...


The precise nature of these initial observations and (later) purposeful activities which would give rise to the changes in subsistence methods brought about by the Neolithic Revolution are not known; specific evidence is lacking. However, several reasonable speculations have been put forward; for example, it might be expected that the common practice of discarding food refuse in middens would result in the regrowth of plants from the discarded seeds in the (fertilizer-enriched) soils. In all likelihood, there were a number of factors which contributed to the early onset of agriculture in Neolithic human societies. Like most farmers in Sub-Saharan Africa, this Cameroonian man cultivates at the subsistence level. ... A midden, also known as kitchen middens, is a dump for domestic waste. ... Spreading manure, an organic fertilizer Fertilizers (also spelled fertilisers) are compounds given to plants to promote growth; they are usually applied either via the soil, for uptake by plant roots, or by foliar feeding, for uptake through leaves. ... For other uses, see Society (disambiguation). ...


Agriculture in the Fertile Crescent

Generalised agriculture apparently first arose in the Fertile Crescent because of many factors. The Mediterranean climate has a long, dry season with a short period of rain, which made it suitable for small plants with large seeds, like wheat and barley. These were the most suitable for domestication because of the ease of harvest and storage and the wide availability. In addition, the domesticated plants had especially high protein content. The Fertile Crescent had a large area of varied geographical settings and altitudes. The variety given made agriculture more profitable for former hunter-gatherers. Other areas with a similar climate were less suitable for agriculture because of the lack of geographic variation within the region and the lack of availability of plants for domestication. This map shows the extent of the Fertile Crescent. ...  Areas with Mediterranean climate A Mediterranean climate is a climate that resembles the climate of the lands in the Mediterranean Basin. ... A representation of the 3D structure of myoglobin, showing coloured alpha helices. ...


Agriculture in Africa

The Revolution developed independently in different parts of the world, not just in the Fertile Crescent. On the African continent, three areas have been identified as independently developing agriculture: the Ethiopian highlands, the Nile River Valley and West Africa. In East Africa we know that there was a lot of water to complete the neolithic life. Ethiopian Highlands with Ras Dashan in the background. ... The Nile (Arabic: , transliteration: , Ancient Egyptian iteru, Coptic piaro or phiaro) is a major north-flowing river in Africa, generally regarded as the longest river in the world. ...  Western Africa (UN subregion)  Maghreb[1] West Africa or Western Africa is the westernmost region of the African continent. ...


Prof. Fred Wendorf and Dr. Romuald Schild, of the Department of Anthropology at Southern Methodist University, have evidence of early agriculture in Upper Paleolithic times at Wadi Kubbaniya, on the Kom Ombos plateau, of Egypt, including a mortar and pestle, grinding stones, several harvesting implements and charred wheat and barley grains - which may have been introduced from outside the region. Carbon-14 dates range from 15,000 to 16,300 BC, showing that this early grain harvesting preceded that of the Middle East by about 5,000 years.


The archaeologists state that "These are not the only Late Paleolithic sites which have been discovered in Egypt along the Nile, nor are they alone in containing stone artifact assemblages which seem to indicate the harvesting of grain. Among others are several sites at Wadi Tushka, near Abu Simbel, at Kom Ombo, north of Aswan, and a third group (a whole series of sites) near Esna. All these are in the Nile Valley." The Egyptian Esna culture shows "extensive use of cereals," date from 13,000 to 14,500 years ago.[citation needed] // The Paleolithic is a prehistoric era distinguished by the development of stone tools. ...


They continue: "While the flaked stone industries from them are different from those found at Kubbaniya, the Tushka site yielded several pieces of stone with lustrous edges, indicating that they were used as sickles in harvesting grain."


Many such grinding stones are found with the early Egyptian Sebilian and Mechian cultures dating 10,000-13,000 BC. Smith[citation needed] writes: "With the benefit of hindsight we can now see that many Late Paleolithic peoples in the Old World were poised on the brink of plant cultivation and animal husbandry as an alternative to the hunter-gatherer's way of life". Unlike the Middle East, this evidence appears as a "false dawn" to agriculture, as the sites were later abandoned, and permanent farming then was delayed until 4,500 BC with the Tasian and Badarian cultures and the arrival of crops and animals from the Near East. // The Paleolithic is a prehistoric era distinguished by the development of stone tools. ... The Badarian culture provides the earliest direct evidence of agriculture in Upper Egypt. ...


Domestication of animals

When hunter-gathering began to be replaced by sedentary food production it became more profitable to keep animals close at hand. Therefore, it became necessary to bring animals permanently to their settlements, although in many cases there was a distinction between relatively sedentary farmers and nomadic herders. The animals' size, temperament, diet, mating patterns, and life span were factors in the desire and success in domesticating animals. Animals that provided milk, such as cows and goats, offered a source of protein that was renewable and therefore quite valuable. The animal’s ability as a worker (for example ploughing or towing), as well as a food source, also had to be taken into account. Besides being a direct source of food, certain animals could provide leather, wool, hides, and fertilizer. Some of the earliest domesticated animals included sheep, goats, cows, and pigs. Out of the thousands of species of animals only fourteen eventually became domesticated for agricultural purposes. Sheep are commonly bred as livestock. ...


Domestication of animals in the Middle East

The Middle East served as the source for many domesticable animals, such as goats and pigs. This area was also the first region to domesticate the Dromedary Camel. The presence of these animals gave the region a large advantage in cultural and economic development. As the climate in the Middle East changed, and became drier, many of the farmers were forced to leave, taking their domesticated animals with them. It was this massive emigration from the Middle East that would later help distribute these animals to the rest of Afroeurasia. This emigration was mainly on an est-west axis of similar climates, as crops usually have a narrow optimal climatic range outside of which they cannot grow for reasons of light or rain changes. For instance, wheat does not normally grow in tropical climates, just like tropical crops such as bananas do not grow in colder climates (until modern technology allowed heated greenhouses). Some authors like Jared Diamond postulated that this East-West axis is the main reason why plant and animal domestication spread so quickly from the Fertile Crescent to Europe and China, while it did not reach through the North-South axis of Africa to reach the mediterranean climates of South Africa, where temperate crops were successfully imported by ships in the last 500 years. The African Zebu is a separate breed of cattle that was better suited to the hotter climates of central Africa than the fertile-crescent domesticated bovines. North and South America where similarly separated by the narrow tropical Isthmus of Panama, that prevented the andes Lama to be exported to the Mexican plateau. Species See Species and subspecies The goat is a mammal in the genus Capra, which consists of nine species: the Ibex, the West Caucasian Tur, the East Caucasian Tur, the Markhor, and the Wild Goat. ... For other uses, see Pig (disambiguation). ... This article or section may be confusing for some readers, and should be edited to be clearer or more simplified. ... Species T. aestivum T. boeoticum T. dicoccoides T. dicoccon T. durum T. monococcum T. spelta T. sphaerococcum T. timopheevii References:   ITIS 42236 2002-09-22 Wheat Wheat For the indie rock group, see Wheat (band). ... The tropics are the geographic region of the Earth centered on the equator and limited in latitude by the two tropics: the Tropic of Cancer in the north and the Tropic of Capricorn in the southern hemisphere. ... This article or section does not cite its references or sources. ... Jared Mason Diamond (b. ... This map shows the extent of the Fertile Crescent. ... For other uses, see Europe (disambiguation). ... A world map showing the continent of Africa Africa is the worlds second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia. ... Trinomial name Bos primigenius indicus Linnaeus, 1758 Zebus (Bos primigenius indicus), sometimes known as humped cattle, are better-adapted to tropical environments than other domestic cattle. ... The Isthmus of Panama. ... Not to be confused with Llama. ... The Mexican Plateau is a plateau laying in central Mexico, to the west of the Sierra Madre Oriental mountains and to the east of the Sierra Madre Occidental. ...


Domestication of animals in China's Yellow River valley

The agricultural revolution was inspired, in part, by the spreading of domesticated plants and animals and the growth of complex societies. The first occurrences of plant and animal domestication are apparently independent in China’s Yellow River Valley (pig, horse) and the fertile crescent (cattle, domestic goat), before it spread to the rest of Eurasia. Along the same latitudes it was easy for agricultural methods to be adopted by neighbouring communities, because plants would grow well in similar climates. Either the neighbouring hunter-gathers adopted these new methods or they were displaced. The change to the agrarian way of life lead to more developed technology, organized society, and increased populations which required sedentary lifestyles to spread. Therefore the indigenous hunter-gatherers either adapted to this new way of life or were gradually displaced, sometimes remaining as nomad cultures such as the mongols. For other Yellow Rivers, see Yellow River (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Pig (disambiguation). ... Binomial name Equus caballus Linnaeus, 1758 The horse (Equus caballus, sometimes seen as a subspecies of the Wild Horse, Equus ferus caballus) is a large odd-toed ungulate mammal, one of ten modern species of the genus Equus. ... For general information about the genus, including other species of cattle, see Bos. ... For other uses of the term, see goat (disambiguation). ... For other uses, see Eurasia (disambiguation). ... Kazakh nomads in the steppes of the Russian Empire, ca. ... The name Mongols (Mongolian: Mongol) specifies one or several ethnic groups. ...


Causes of the Neolithic Revolution

Harlan, examining the causes for the Neolithic Revolution, suggests 6 principal reasons which can be summarised to 3 principal categories:

  1. Domestication for religious reasons http://en.wikipedia.org/skins-1.5/common/images/button_sig.png
  2. Domestication by crowding and as a consequence of stress
  3. Domestication resulting from discovery, based upon the perceptions of food gatherers

With regard to the first explanation, Ian Hodder, who directs the excavations at Çatalhöyük, has suggested that the earliest settled communities, and the Neolithic revolution they represent, actually preceded the development of agriculture. He has been developing the ideas first expressed by Jacques Cauvin, the excavator of the Natufian settlement at Mureybet in northern Syria. Hodder believes that the Neolithic revolution was the result of a revolutionary change in the human psychology, a "revolution of symbols" which led to new beliefs about the world and shared community rituals embodied in corpulent female figurines and the methodical assembly of aurochs horns. Ian R. Hodder (born 23 November 1948 in Bristol) is a British archaeologist and pioneer of postprocessualist theory in archaeology. ... Excavations at the South Area of Çatal Höyük Çatalhöyük (also Çatal Höyük and Çatal Hüyük, or any of the three without diacritics; çatal is Turkish for fork, höyük for mound) was a very large Neolithic and Chalcolithic settlement in southern... The Natufian culture existed in the Mediterranean region of the Levant. ... Along the middle Euphrates in Syria, the site of Mureybet was occupied from the 12th to the 8th millennium BCE. It is one of the earliest known agriculture-based settlements, the domestication of plants, one of the forces that brought about the Neolithic Revolution, was traced in successive strata, making... Binomial name Subspecies Bos primigenius primigenius   (Bojanus, 1827) Bos primigenius namadicus   (Falconer, 1859) Bos primigenius mauretanicus   (Thomas, 1881) See Ur (rune) for the rune. ...


An alternative explanation for the origin of agriculture is propounded by Mark Nathan Cohen. Cohen believes that following the widespread extinctions of large mammals in the late Palaeolithic, the human population had expanded to the limits of the available territory and a population explosion led to a food crisis. Agriculture was the only way in which it was possible to support the increasing population on the available area of land. This view has come under criticism due to the obvious problem of how a population explosion would occur without already having a surplus of food. The people doing the reproducing would need food, at the very least, from birth to reproduction age.


Food gatherers (not the hunters) caring for children, keeping the fires alive, foraging near the base camp; led the way in developing language and culture, in knowledge of plants and increasingly semi-domesticated animals who travelled with the nomads from camp to camp. It is ironic that these women laid the foundation for a new type of society that replaced the rough egalitarianism of hunter-gatherer communal life - with systemic patriarchal forms of rule.


Consequences of the Neolithic Revolution

Social change

It is often argued that agriculture gave humans more control over their food supply, but this has been disputed by the finding that nutritional standards of Neolithic populations were generally inferior to that of hunter gatherers, and life expectancy may in fact have been shorter (see "Disease" below). In actual fact, by reducing the necessity for the carrying of children, Neolithic societies had a major impact upon the spacing of children (carrying more than one child at a time is impossible for hunter-gatherers, which leads to children being spaced four or more years apart). This increase in the birth rate was required to offset increases in death rates and required settled occupation of territory and encouraged larger social groups. These sedentary groups were able to reproduce at a faster rate due to the possibilities of sharing the raising of children in such societies. The children accounted for a denser population, and encouraged the introduction of specialization by providing diverse forms of new labor. The development of larger societies called for different means of decision making and led to governmental organization. Food surpluses made possible the development of a social elite who were not otherwise engaged in agriculture, industry or commerce, but dominated their communities by other means and monopolized decision making


Disease

Throughout the development of sedentary societies, disease spread more rapidly than it had during time in which hunter-gatherer societies existed. Inadequate sanitary practices and the domestication of animals may explain the rise in deaths and sickness during the Neolithic Revolution from disease, as diseases jumped from the animal to the human population. Some examples of diseases spread from animals to humans are influenza, smallpox, and measles. In concordance with a process of natural selection, the humans who first domesticated the big mammals quickly built up immunities to the diseases as within each generation the individuals with better immunities had better chances of survival. In their approximately 10,000 years of shared proximity with animals, Europeans, Chinese and Africans became more resistant to those diseases compared with the indigenous populations encountered outside Eurasia and Africa. For instance, the population of most Caribbean and several Pacific Islands have been completely wiped out by diseases. According to the Population history of American indigenous peoples, 90% of the population of certain regions of North and South America were wiped out long before any European set foot within sight of entire civilisations like the Mississippi river cultures. Some cultures like the Inca Empire did have one big mammal domesticated, the Llama, but the inca did not drink its milk or live in a closed space with their herds, hence limiting the risk of contagion. In recent years, close proximity with different animals in certain parts of south-east Asia and China is also a highly potent source of diseases like the common flu, SARS or the possible transmission to humans of the avian flu. Influenza, commonly known as flu, is an infectious disease of birds and mammals caused by an RNA virus of the family Orthomyxoviridae (the influenza viruses). ... Smallpox (also known by the Latin names Variola or Variola vera) is a contagious disease unique to humans. ... For other uses, see Natural selection (disambiguation). ... Orders Subclass Monotremata Monotremata Subclass Marsupialia Didelphimorphia Paucituberculata Microbiotheria Dasyuromorphia Peramelemorphia Notoryctemorphia Diprotodontia Subclass Placentalia Xenarthra Dermoptera Desmostylia Scandentia Primates Rodentia Lagomorpha Insectivora Chiroptera Pholidota Carnivora Perissodactyla Artiodactyla Cetacea Afrosoricida Macroscelidea Tubulidentata Hyracoidea Proboscidea Sirenia The mammals are the class of vertebrate animals primarily characterized by the presence of mammary... For other uses, see Eurasia (disambiguation). ... A world map showing the continent of Africa Africa is the worlds second-largest and second most-populous continent, after Asia. ... “West Indian” redirects here. ... →this is tuff i mean kyle carters tuff Tuamotu, French Polynesia The Pacific Ocean contains an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 islands; the exact number has not been precisely determined. ... Millions of indigenous people lived in the Americas when the 1492 voyage of Christopher Columbus began an historical period of large-scale European contact with the Americas. ... Capital Cusco 1197-1533 Vilcabamba 1533-1572 Language(s) Quechua, Aymara, Jaqi family, Mochic and scores of smaller languages. ... Binomial name (Linnaeus, 1758) The llama (Lama glama) is a South American camelid, widely used as a pack animal by the Incas[1] and other natives of the Andes mountains. ... Respiratory disease properly named influenza(say: in-floo-en-zah ). Some specific varities of influenza with a vaccination available are: A-New Caledonia, A-California, B-Shanghai. ... Sars may refer to any of the following: Severe acute respiratory syndrome, commonly abbreviated as SARS Michael Sars, a Norwegian biologist, father of Georg Sars Georg Sars, a Norwegian biologist, son of Michael Sars Special Administrative Regions, commonly abbreviated as SARs Sars, Perm Krai, an urban settlement in Perm Krai... For the H5N1 subtype generating the concern see H5N1. ...


Subsequent revolutions

Andrew Sherrat has argued that following upon the Neolithic Revolution was a second phase of discovery that he refers to as the secondary products revolution. Animals, it appears were first domesticated purely as a source of meat. The Secondary Products Revolution occurred when it was recognised that animals also provided a number of other useful products. These included: Andrew Sherratts (1981) model of a secondary products revolution involved a widespread and broadly contemporaneous set of innovations in Old World farming: early use of domestic animals for primary carcass products (meat) was broadened from the 4th-3rd millennia BC to include exploitation for renewable secondary products (milk, wool...

Sherrat argues that this phase in agricultural development enabled humans to make use of the energy possibilities of their animals in new ways, and permitted permanent intensive subsistence farming and crop production, and the opening up heavier soils for farming. It also made possible nomadic pastoralism in semi arid areas, along the margins of deserts, and eventually led to the domestication of both the Baktrian and Dromedary camel. Overgrazing of these areas, particularly by herds of goats, greatly extended the areal extent of deserts. Species See text. ... Binomial name (Linnaeus, 1758) The llama (Lama glama) is a South American camelid, widely used as a pack animal by the Incas[1] and other natives of the Andes mountains. ... This article is about a breed of domesticated ungulates. ... Angora was the name of the city of Ankara and the surrounding Ankara Province (vilayet) in Turkey and the Ottoman Empire prior to 1930. ... For the animal, see goat. ... For the animal, see goat. ... For general information about the genus, including other species of cattle, see Bos. ... This article is about the animal. ... Species See text. ... Who ever deleted my page is a prat and i wil hunt them down on lucy and shout at them loudly! RAAAAARRR! connie sansom ... For other uses, see Camel (disambiguation). ... Binomial name Bos taurus Linnaeus, 1758 Cattle are domesticated ungulates, a member of the subfamily Bovinae of the family Bovidae. ... Species †B. antiquus B. bison B. bonasus †B. latifrons †B. occidentalis †B. priscus Bison is a taxonomic group containing six species of large even-toed ungulates within the subfamily Bovinae. ... Binomial name Equus hemionus Pallas, 1775 The Onager (Equus hemionus) is a large mammal belonging to the horse family and native to the deserts of Syria, Iran, India, and Tibet. ... Binomial name Equus asinus The donkey or ass (Equus asinus) is a domesticated animal of the horse family, Equidae. ... Who ever deleted my page is a prat and i wil hunt them down on lucy and shout at them loudly! RAAAAARRR! connie sansom ... For other uses, see Camel (disambiguation). ... To meet Wikipedias quality standards, this article or section may require cleanup. ... A dune in the Egyptian desert In geography, a desert is a landscape form or region that receives little precipitation. ... Binomial name Linnaeus, 1758 Bactrian Camel range The Bactrian Camel (Camelus bactrianus) is a large even-toed ungulate native to the steppes of eastern Asia. ... Binomial name Camelus dromedarius Linnaeus, 1758 Dromedary range The Dromedary Camel (Camelus dromedarius) (often referred to simply as the Dromedary) is a large even-toed ungulate native to northern Africa, Greater Middle East area and western India, also the land of east Africa, Sudan, Ethiopia and Somalia. ... For other uses, see Camel (disambiguation). ...


Living in one spot would have more easily permitted the accrual of personal possessions and an attachment to certain areas of land. From such a position, it is argued, prehistoric people were able to stockpile food to survive lean times and trade unwanted surpluses with others. Once trade and a secure food supply were established, populations could grow, and society would have diversified into food producers and artisans, who could afford to develop their trade by virtue of the free time they enjoyed because of a surplus of food. The artisans, in turn, were able to develop technology such as metal weapons. Such relative complexity would have required some form of social organisation to work efficiently and so it is likely that populations which had such organisation, perhaps such as that provided by religion were better prepared and more successful. In addition, the denser populations could form and support legions of professional soldiers. Also, during this time property ownership became increasingly important to all people. Ultimately, Childe argued that this growing social complexity, all rooted in the original decision to settle, led to a second Urban Revolution in which the first cities were built. It has been suggested that Commerce be merged into this article or section. ... In anthropology and archaeology, the urban revolution is the process by which small, kin-based, nonliterate agricultural villages are transformed into large, socially complex, civilized urban centres. ...


The Age of Discovery

In his book Guns, Germs, and Steel, Jared Diamond argues that Europeans and East Asians benefited from an advantageous geographical location which afforded them a head start in the Neolithic Revolution. Both shared the temperate climate ideal for the first agricultural settings, both were near a number of easily domesticable plant and animal species, and both were safer from attacks of other people than civilisations in the middle part of the Eurasian continent. Being among the first to adopt agriculture and sedentary lifestyles, and neighboring other early agricultural societies with whom they could compete and trade, both Europeans and East Asians were also among the first to benefit from technologies such as firearms and steel swords. In addition, they developed resistances to infectious disease, such as smallpox, due to their close relationship with domesticated animals. Groups of people who had not lived in proximity with other large mammals, such as the Australian Aborigines and American indigenous peoples were more vulnerable to infection and largely wiped out by diseases. Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies is a 1997 book by Jared Diamond, professor of geography and physiology at UCLA. In 1998 it won a Pulitzer Prize and the Aventis Prize for Best Science Book. ... Jared Mason Diamond (b. ... Dogs and sheep were among the first animals to be domesticated. ... A Glock 22 hand-held firearm with internal laser sight and mounted flashlight, surrounded by hollowpoint ammunition. ... Swiss longsword, 15th or 16th century Look up Sword in Wiktionary, the free dictionary. ... This false-colored electron micrograph shows a malaria sporozoite migrating through the midgut epithelia. ... Smallpox (also known by the Latin names Variola or Variola vera) is a contagious disease unique to humans. ... Subclasses & Infraclasses Subclass †Allotheria* Subclass Prototheria Subclass Theria Infraclass †Trituberculata Infraclass Metatheria Infraclass Eutheria Mammals (class Mammalia) are warm-blooded, vertebrate animals characterized by the presence of sweat glands, including those that produce milk, and by the presence of: hair, three middle ear bones used in hearing, and a neocortex... Languages Several hundred indigenous Australian languages (many extinct or nearly so), Australian English, Australian Aboriginal English, Torres Strait Creole, Kriol Religions Primarily Christian, with minorities of other religions including various forms of Traditional belief systems based around the Dreamtime Related ethnic groups see List of Indigenous Australian group names Indigenous... Millions of indigenous people lived in the Americas when the 1492 voyage of Christopher Columbus began an historical period of large-scale European contact with the Americas. ...


During and after the Age of Discovery, European explorers, such as the Spanish conquistadors, encountered other groups of people which had never or only recently adopted agriculture, such as in the Pacific Islands, or lacked domesticated big mammals such as the highlands people of Papua New Guinea. Due in part to their head start in the Neolithic Revolution, the Europeans were able to use their technology and endemic diseases, to which indigenous populations had never been exposed, to colonize most of the globe. For the computer wargame, Age of Discovery, see Global Diplomacy. ... A Conquistador (Spanish: []) (English: Conqueror) was a Spanish soldier, explorer and adventurer who took part in the gradual invasion and conquering of much of the Americas and Asia Pacific, bringing them under Spanish colonial rule between the 15th and 19th centuries. ... →this is tuff i mean kyle carters tuff Tuamotu, French Polynesia The Pacific Ocean contains an estimated 20,000 to 30,000 islands; the exact number has not been precisely determined. ... In epidemiology, an infection is said to be endemic in a population when that infection is maintained in the population without the need for external inputs. ...


See also

Excavations at the South Area of Çatal Höyük Çatalhöyük (also Çatal Höyük and Çatal Hüyük, or any of the three without diacritics; çatal is Turkish for fork, höyük for mound) was a very large Neolithic and Chalcolithic settlement in southern... The Natufian culture existed in the Mediterranean region of the Levant. ... The theory that the original affluent society was that of hunter-gatherers was articulated by Marshall Sahlins at the symposium on Man the Hunter held in Chicago in 1966. ... In human genetics, Haplogroup G (M201) is a Y-chromosome haplogroup. ... Haplogroup J is a human mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA) haplogroup. ... In the Earths history there have been a number of agricultural revolutions. ...

References

  1. ^ The use of fire during the Neolithic Revolution from: Pyne, Stephen J. Vestal Fire: An Environmental History Told through Fire, of Europe and Europe's Encounter with the World; University of Washington Press, Seattle; 1997. ISBN 0-295-97592-3
  2. ^ http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?apage=2&cid=1150355513473&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull
  3. ^ http://www.jpost.com/servlet/Satellite?apage=1&cid=1150355513473&pagename=JPost%2FJPArticle%2FShowFull

Further reading

  • Bailey, Douglass. (2000). Balkan Prehistory: Exclusions, Incorporation and Identity. Routledge Publishers. ISBN 0-415-21598-6.
  • Bailey, Douglass. (2005). Prehistoric Figurines: Representation and Corporeality in the Neolithic. Routledge Publishers. ISBN 0-415-33152-8.
  • Balter, Michael (2005). The Goddess and the Bull: Catalhoyuk, An Archaeological Journey to the Dawn of Civilization. New York: Free Press. ISBN 0-7432-4360-9.
  • Bellwood, Peter. (2004). First Farmers: The Origins of Agricultural Societies. Blackwell Publishers. ISBN 0-631-20566-7
  • Cohen, Mark Nathan (1977)The Food Crisis in Prehistory: Overpopulation and the Origins of Agriculture. New Haven and London: Yale University Press. ISBN 0-300-02016-3.
  • Diamond, Jared (1999). Guns, Germs, and Steel: The Fates of Human Societies. New York: Norton Press. ISBN 0-393-31755-2.
  • Diamond, Jared (2002) Evolution, Consequences and Future of Plant and Animal Domestication. Nature Magazine, Vol 418.
  • Harlan, Jack R. (1992) Crops & Man: Views on Agricultural Origins ASA, CSA, Madison, WI. http://www.hort.purdue.edu/newcrop/history/lecture03/r_3-1.html
  • Wright, Gary A. (1971) "Origins of Food Production in Southwestern Asia: A Survey of Ideas" Current Anthropology, Vol. 12, No. 4/5 (Oct - Dec., 1971) , pp. 447-477[[sv:Neolitiska revolutionen]red]

  Results from FactBites:
 
Neolithic Revolution - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (2500 words)
The Neolithic Revolution was the transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture, as first adopted by various independent prehistoric human societies.
Hodder believes that the Neolithic revolution was the result of a revolutionary change in the human psychology, a "revolution of symbols" which led to new beliefs about the world and shared community rituals embodied in corpulent female figurines and the methodical assembly of aurochs horns.
Due in part to their head start in the Neolithic Revolution, the Europeans were able to use their technology and endemic diseases, to which indigenous populations had never been exposed, to colonize most of the globe.
Neolithic - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia (1645 words)
The term "Neolithic" thus does not refer to a specific chronological period, but rather to a suite of behavioural and cultural characteristics including the use of (both wild and domestic) crops and the use of domesticated animals.
Early Neolithic farming is limited to a narrow range of crops (both wild and domestic) and the keeping of sheep and goats, but by about 7000 BC it included the domestication of cows and pigs, the establishment of permanently or semi-permanently inhabited settlements and the use of pottery.
These structures (and their later Neolithic equivalents such as causewayed enclosures, burial mounds, and henges) required considerable time and labour to construct, which suggests that some influential individuals were able to organise and direct human labour.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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