AP®︎ World History
- The Neolithic Revolution and early agriculture
- The dawn of agriculture
- The spread of agriculture
- Early civilizations
- Social, political, and environmental characteristics of early civilizations
- Lesson summary: the Neolithic Revolution and the birth of agriculture
- Neolithic Revolution and the birth of agriculture
An overview of the Neolithic Revolution and the birth of agriculture
|Neolithic Period||from neo (new) + lithos (stone), the “new stone age” is the time period starting about 11,000 when humans began developing smaller, more refined tools|
|Neolithic Revolution||the emergence of agriculture during the Neolithic Period|
|agriculture||the practice of raising domesticated plants or animals as a main food source|
|pastoralism||a branch of agriculture that focuses on herding animals|
|domestication||the process of taming animals and cultivating plants for farming|
|agricultural surplus||agricultural output beyond the food necessary to support the people working directly in agriculture. This extra food can support others who take on non-agricultural tasks.|
|specialization of labor||when people in an economic system are able to focus on doing a few, specific tasks very well, typically as a result of agricultural surplus|
|sedentism||the practice of settling in one place and not moving around; the opposite of a nomadic lifestyle|
|200,000 years ago||emergence of first known anatomically modern humans , Homo sapiens sapiens|
|200,000—12,000 years ago||Paleolithic Period or “old stone age"; the archaeological record shows rudimentary stone tools|
|15,000 years ago||first known existence of domestication of plants and animals (i.e. agriculture)|
|11,000—5,000 years ago||Neolithic Period or "new stone age" and end of the last ice age coincided with development of more refined stone tools and early agriculture|
|3000 BCE—700 BCE||Bronze Age; tools, weapons, and art were made primarily from bronze, an alloy of copper and tin, during this period|
|1200 BCE—800 CE||Iron Age; tools, weapons, and art were made primarily from iron, a strong metal, during this period|
Environment: Environmental factors often affect patterns of human migration and settlement. One common theory is that agriculture emerged after a glacial period, when the earth got warmer and the land was more easily farmed. Agriculture developed independently in many regions, and people in each region domesticated locally available plants and animals. People cleared large swaths of land and created irrigation systems, which had profound effects on the environment.
Economics and social structures: Agricultural surplus allowed for more complex economic systems. After the Neolithic Revolution, new labor systems developed. With the emergence of a stable food supply, people had more time to focus on specialized tasks, which led to the specialization of labor. The development of specialized labor systems resulted in the emergence of separate classes of farmers, artisans, warriors, and elites.
State building: Agriculture led to an increased food supply and a more sedentary lifestyle, which facilitated the development and growth of cities. Cities concentrated large numbers of people who had no personal connections. Governments emerged to manage the larger number of resources and people.
- Why did agriculture emerge where and when it did? Compare three different ways in which agriculture emerged around the world.
- What were some effects of the domestication of plants and animals?
- How did agriculture lead to specialization of labor, and how did that specialization affect social structures?
- What are two ways in which the emergence of agriculture contributed to the rise of cities and states?
Want to join the conversation?
- What was at the time thought to be the next most importent job besides farming.(5 votes)
- I would say crafting. A craftsperson should be able to provide many farming tools for the agricultural sector. Crafting should also provide weapons for hunting and war, tools for lumbering and construction, and even instruments for entertainment and rituals.(3 votes)
- How did agriculture get it's name and why you studied it.(3 votes)
- Agriculture got its name as follows.
mid-15c., "tillage, cultivation of large areas of land to provide food," from Late Latin agricultura "cultivation of the land," a contraction of agri cultura "cultivation of land," from agri, genitive of ager "a field" (from PIE root *agro- "field") + cultura "cultivation" (see culture (n.)). In Old English, the idea could be expressed by eorðtilþ.(4 votes)
- In the pictured diagram, it shows the names of the 'ages'. What would the age after the iron age be?(2 votes)
- Is there any sexism back then?/ If there is sexism today, there has to be a root which can it start here or in the Paleolithic times and how so?(1 vote)
- It likely could have evolved socially as a result of specialization, when humans became smart enough to perform a variety of intellectual and physical tasks.(2 votes)
- Would this lesson describe how Indigenous people as whole learned and shared from each other life and death techniques and stories?(1 vote)
- • Ancestor worship in the Neolithic Near East: at which of our sites did it occur, what form did it take, and what did it mean for those sites’ inhabitants?(1 vote)
- How did irrigation help farmers during the Neolithic revolution ?(1 vote)
- It allowed farmers to be able to yield more crops and live further away from freshwater sources as compared to simply relying on rainwater.(1 vote)
- How can the Bronze age come before the Iron Age? Isn't the creation of alloy of copper and tin more complex rather than the creation of iron? Logically, iron tools had to be developed before bronze ones.(1 vote)
- Can I ask what is the principal features of the Neolithic Revolution, how it differed from Paleolithic culture and how it laid the foundation for the emergence of full civilization during the Bronze Age? Thanks(1 vote)
- How is it that the Bronze age and the Iron age overlap?(1 vote)