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WATCH: Era 2 Overview

Physically modern humans evolved over a long time and alongside other, related species. Our ability to use and make tools gave our ancestors the ability to spread to new environments. Our ability to share information and produce symbols helped us to master those environments. Gradually, people populated almost the whole world. But populations remained small until the development of farming. Farming allowed us to produce more calories, feed more people, and eventually build villages and towns. Yet there is some evidence that early farmers had more difficult lives than foragers.

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Created by World History Project.

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Video transcript