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What Was the Neolithic Agricultural Revolution?

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Neolithic agricultural revolution

Neolithic agricultural revolution

The hunter-gatherers

The Neolithic or "New Stone Age" was a period from 10,000 B.C. about. to 3000 BC and caused important changes in the way of life of people. In the earlier period, the Mesolithic or "middle stone age", the people were mainly hunter-gatherers and led a nomadic life. The Neolithic marked a change in the development of sedentary settlements and dependence on agriculture for subsistence. This change was called the Neolithic Agricultural Revolution.

During the Mesolithic period, people lived in small nomadic tribal groups. The ability to travel from one place to another allowed these groups to follow the animals as they migrated and moved to areas where there was more plant life. Additionally, these hunter-gatherers benefited from the diversity of animals and plants in their diets, which gave them access to a wide variety of nutrients. The shift to agriculture was a compromise between types of food sources and growing different crops.

The Agricultural Revolution

The Neolithic agricultural revolution probably began around 10,000 BC. British Columbia, although it is a gradual process and not a one-time process. This transition is sometimes referred to as the first agricultural revolution to distinguish it from the agricultural changes that occurred around the time of the industrial revolution and in the late 20th century.

Small groups of people began to build permanent homes near important resources such as water or the natural habitat of some plants and animals. Over time, humans have participated in the domestication of some of these species. For example, Zea mays (corn) in the Americas evolved from a plant that was sown year after year to one that required human intervention to free the seeds or kernels and plant them in places where they were most likely to push. Similar processes have occurred in animals that depended on human intervention for their sustenance as they evolved into creatures more docile and better adapted to human needs than their wild predecessors.

Agriculture could produce a surplus of food, with a single family of farmers producing more food than needed. This allowed a small group of farmers to support a larger population. These nomadic groups grew into cities and eventually towns, all supported by farmers who overproduced food.

Effects of the Neolithic Revolution

In good years, farming could start a positive feedback loop in the community. Increased food production has made it possible to support a larger population with fewer people providing food. This has freed up some people for specialized crafts such as tool making or clothing. Better tools could allow farmers to produce even more food, potentially allowing populations to grow again. Ultimately, these cities and communities could direct their human effort toward non-subsistence activities, such as government, education, and the arts.

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Farming communities also developed private property. Because the community was tied to a place, the land was associated with a specific person and eventually became the property of that person. This is likely to have led to a lack of connection between the community and the land, as well as disputes over ownership of the property.

An ancient Ramesside mural from the tomb at Deir el-Medina shows an Egyptian couple picking up.

An ancient Ramesside mural from the tomb at Deir el-Medina shows an Egyptian couple picking up.

Negative impact

However, not everything was positive. Agriculture depended on favorable weather conditions, access to water, and the prevention of plant and livestock diseases. Any of these factors could go wrong and the community would experience a year of reduced food production, famine and community disease. Although there are many reasons why hunter-gatherers' lives were thought to be short, many historians argue that their diet was healthier than an agriculture-based diet and could have improved their health. Agriculture limited the diet of the ancient hunter-gatherers.

Nomadic lifestyle

Human beings as we know them have been around for about 200,000 years. But even though we had bigger brains and finer hands, we still behaved like our predecessors. It was a nomadic way of life, following the herds and picking wild plants and fruits along the way. Then, about 10,000 years ago, we come to a split. On this side, we had the nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyle we have always known. On the other hand, we had a sedentary agriculture. The differences between these two are simple, but as we will see, they have lasting implications.

As a nomad, you need to find your food. Since you need to find your food, you need to move before your food sources run out or before the food migrates. Since you need to be able to move around, you can only store as much food as you can carry. Preservation is particularly difficult because as a nomad you mainly eat meat, which has a high nutritional value but is difficult to keep and preserve.

Country lifestyle

Now let's take a look at the other side of the gap. As a farmer, you make your own food. In fact, you can produce more food than you can eat. This is called excess. Since growing plants takes time, you need to take care of them. Since you're not going anywhere anyway, you have the ability to store A LOT of food. Conservation is facilitated because, as a breeder, you eat very little meat but many cereals, which have little nutritional value but are very easy to preserve and preserve. So when a drought comes and game is scarce, the nomads have to leave or starve, while the farmers can live on the surplus they have accumulated.

What are three effects of the Neolithic Revolution?

The Neolithic Revolution allowed for population growth due to a general increase in food production and the onset of specialization, freeing parts of the community for tasks other than food supply. It has also resulted in a diet of less varied and less nutritious sources than hunter-gatherers.

Why was the Agricultural Revolution important?

The agricultural revolution was important because it allowed human populations to settle in one place and build a sustainable community with a greater specialization of skills for most people. This specialization has resulted in parishioners devoted to government, religion, education, and the arts. It has also led to the development of personal property rights.

© 2022 Rayner Davin

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