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The Neolithic Revolution and Early Agricultural Societies

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1 The Neolithic Revolution and Early Agricultural Societies

2 Farming: The Biggest Mistake??? Food production = Hard Work! It often led to: –poorer health –shorter lifespan –harder labor for the majority of people So Why Did People Switch From Hunting and Gathering To Farming?

3 Paleolithic Era The Pre-Farming Era Definition: the time before people started doing agriculture 2 million BCE – about 10,000 BCE Literal Meaning: “Old Stone Age” – use of stone tools

4 Life of Paleolithic Humans

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8 The Neolithic Revolution What is this? Where did it happen? When did it happen? WHY did it happen?

9 Neolithic Era After 10,000 BCE What? “Agricultural Revolution” = domestication of plants & animals Literal Meaning: New Stone Age The first permanent human settlements emerged Still used stone tools Pottery appears Catal – Hyuk: A stone-age village in modern Turkey

10 Where? “Fertile Crescent” (modern day Iraq) Tigris and Euphrates Rivers The area around these rivers is known to history as Mesopotamia End of Last Ice Age Warming Climate Wild grasses abundant ~Wild Grasses closest to domesticated varieties

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12 How did Agriculture Develop? Availability of calories determines how people get food End of ice age  Plants thriving Humans began “helping” plants along and selecting for traits, to increase calories gathered Certain plants were abundant and provided many calories=Humans actively chose these –Wheat

13 Where & When? LocationDates (B.C.E)PlantsAnimals Southwest Asia (Fertile Crescent) Barley, wheat, lentils, figs Goats, sheep, cattle, pigs China Rice, millet, soybeansPigs, chickens, water buffalo Saharan and Sub- Saharan Africa Sorghum, millet, yams, teff Cattle (perhaps 8000 B.C.E) Highland New Guinea Taro, bananas, yams, sugarcane Andes region Potatoes, quinoa, manioc Llamas, alpaca, guinea pig Mesoamerica Maize, squash (perhaps 7000 B.C.E), beans Turkey Eastern woodlands of North America Sunflower, goosefoot, sumpweed

14 What else is needed for a Neolithic Revolution? Animal Domestication – what is it? –An animal will breed where and when we want it to and often. It will come to us for food. It is not aggressive. Examples?

15 Important Domesticated Animals Horse Cow Pig Sheep Goat Chicken Ox Indian Elephant All from Eurasia

16 What was in the Americas? Only the guinea pig, turkey, and… llamasong.flv llamasong.flv

17 So What? What does the Neolithic Revolution allow?: –A sedentary lifestyle –The need for cooperation and group effort –Job specialization –Social Hierarchies (Social classes) –Patriarchy (Rule by males) –Population Growth

18 Results for Agricultural Society Now that you have possessions, what do you have to do? Kings- to direct Militaries – to protect Priests – to protect and record (BUREAUCRATS) Scribes and writing – to protect and keep accounts Artisans- make storage vessels (pottery)

19 Did Everyone Switch? NO! Who Didn’t? Why Not?

20 River Valley Civilizations: Called that for a reason!

21 Eurasian Steppe (grasslands)

22 African Savannah

23 Inuit Lands


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