What is the Neolithic Revolution?
What was the primary benefit of the development of agriculture during the Neolithic Revolution?
What was the secondary products revolution?
What was the downside to the development of sedentary societies during the Neolithic Revolution?
What was the impact of the dietary changes associated with agriculture during the Neolithic Revolution?
What was the primary benefit of the development of trade during the Neolithic Revolution?
What was the impact of the development of agriculture on human biology and life history?
What was the impact of the development of agriculture on gender inequality?
What was the Urban Revolution?
Transition from Hunter-Gatherer to Settled Peoples in Human History
- The Neolithic Revolution was a transition from hunting and gathering to agriculture and settlement that allowed for larger populations.
- The domestication of plants and animals happened in separate locations worldwide, starting in the Holocene epoch 11,700 years ago.
- The Neolithic Revolution led to a downturn in the quality of human nutrition compared to foraging but was ultimately necessary for the rise of modern civilization.
- The Neolithic Revolution transformed hunter-gatherer societies into sedentary societies based in built-up villages and towns and modified their natural environment with specialized food-crop cultivation.
- The domestication of animals, pottery, polished stone tools, and rectangular houses were other developments during the Neolithic period.
- The Neolithic demographic transition caused episodes of rapid population growth in many regions.
- The Neolithic package provided the basis for centralized administrations and political structures, hierarchical ideologies, depersonalized systems of knowledge, densely populated settlements, specialization and division of labor, trade, non-portable art and architecture, and greater property ownership.
- The earliest known civilization developed in Sumer in southern Mesopotamia.
- The relationship between Neolithic characteristics and the onset of agriculture remains a subject of academic debate.
- The transition to agriculture allowed for larger and more permanent settlements, division of labor, and the development of trading networks.
- The process of domestication allowed founder crops to adapt and become larger, more easily harvested, more dependable in storage, and more useful to humans.
- The spread of the Neolithic from the Near East to Europe took about 2,500 years and showed a "saltatory" pattern.The Neolithic Revolution was the transition from hunting and gathering to farming and domestication of animals, which occurred independently in different parts of the world.
The spread of Neolithic culture in Europe, Asia, Africa, and the Americas occurred at different speeds, with the Neolithic spread at an average speed of about 1 km/yr.
Mitochondrial DNA analysis revealed that substantial human migrations were involved in the Neolithic spread, suggesting that the first Neolithic farmers entered Europe following a maritime route through Cyprus and the Aegean Islands.
The earliest Neolithic sites in South Asia are Bhirrana in Haryana dated to 7570–6200 BCE, and Mehrgarh, dated to between 6500 and 5500 BP, in the Kachi plain of Baluchistan, Pakistan.
Agriculture in Neolithic China can be separated into two broad regions, Northern China and Southern China, with foxtail millet and broomcorn millet domesticated in the north and rice domesticated in the south.
On the African continent, three areas have been identified as independently developing agriculture: the Ethiopian highlands, the Sahel and West Africa.
Maize, beans, squash, potatoes, and manioc were among the earliest crops domesticated in the Americas.
Evidence of drainage ditches at Kuk Swamp on the borders of the Western and Southern Highlands of Papua New Guinea indicates cultivation of taro and a variety of other crops, dating back to 11,000 BP.
Animals that provided milk, such as cows and goats, offered a source of protein that was renewable and therefore quite valuable, and some of the earliest domesticated animals included dogs, sheep, goats, cows, and pigs.
The Neolithic Revolution did not lead immediately to a rapid growth of population, and its benefits appear to have been offset by various adverse effects, mostly diseases and warfare.
The introduction of agriculture has not necessarily led to unequivocal progress, and the nutritional standards of the growing Neolithic populations were inferior to that of hunter-gatherers.The Neolithic Revolution: Food production and its consequences
- The Neolithic Revolution refers to a period of time, around 10,000 years ago, when humans started to move from a nomadic, hunting, and gathering lifestyle to a settled, agricultural lifestyle.
- The development of agriculture allowed people to produce food surplus, leading to the development of sedentary communities, the accumulation of goods, and specialization in diverse forms of new labor.
- The availability of milk and cereal grains led to an increase in population growth, leading to the development of social hierarchies and gender inequality.
- Following the Neolithic Revolution was a second phase of discovery called the secondary products revolution, enabling humans to make use of the energy of their animals in new ways, leading to permanent intensive subsistence farming and crop production and eventually, nomadic pastoralism.
- The development of sedentary societies led to the spread of diseases from animals to humans, leading to an increase in deaths and sickness.
- Compared to foragers, Neolithic farmers' diets were higher in carbohydrates but lower in fibre, micronutrients, and protein, leading to an increase in carious teeth, slower growth in childhood, and increased body fat.
- The dietary changes and increased pathogen exposure associated with agriculture profoundly altered human biology and life history, creating conditions where natural selection favoured the allocation of resources towards reproduction over somatic effort.
- Europeans and East Asians benefited from an advantageous geographical location that afforded them a head start in the Neolithic Revolution, leading to their early adoption of agriculture and sedentary lifestyles.
- The dispersal of Neolithic culture from the Middle East has been associated with the distribution of human genetic markers, such as E1b1b lineages and Haplogroup J that arrived in Europe from North Africa and the Near East.
- The Neolithic Revolution led to the development of social hierarchies, the accumulation of goods, and specialization in diverse forms of new labor, leading to the Urban Revolution, where the first cities were built.
- The development of agriculture allowed people to stockpile food, leading to trade and a secure food supply, which allowed populations to grow, and society to diversify into food producers and artisans.
- The denser populations could form and support legions of professional soldiers, leading to the development of technology such as metal weapons.
- The development of agriculture led to deep social divisions and encouraged gender inequality, as traced by historical theorists, like Veronica Strang, through developments in theological depictions.
Test your knowledge of the transition from hunter-gatherer to settled peoples in human history with this informative quiz. Explore the Neolithic Revolution, the domestication of plants and animals, and the development of agriculture in different regions of the world. Learn about the impact of this transition on human biology, society, and culture, including the development of social hierarchies, trade, technology, and gender inequality. Discover the historical significance of the Neolithic Revolution and its complex effects on human civilization.
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