The Neolithic Revolution, often known as the Agricultural Revolution, signified the change in human history from small, nomadic bands of hunter-gatherers to larger, agricultural communities and early civilization.
The Neolithic Revolution began approximately 10,000 B.C. in the Fertile Crescent, a boomerang-shaped area of the Middle East where people first began farming. Shortly later, Stone Age people in various regions of the globe started to pursue agriculture. The Neolithic Revolution’s inventions spawned civilizations and cities.
The Neolithic Age is also known as the New Stone Age. Neolithic people utilized stone tools, much like their Stone Age forefathers, who survived in tiny bands of hunter-gatherers through the previous Ice Age.
V. Gordon Childe, an Australian archaeologist, invented the phrase “Neolithic Revolution” in 1935 to characterize the dramatic and significant era of change during which people started growing plants, raising animals for sustenance, and establishing permanent communities.
The introduction of agriculture separated the Neolithic people from their Paleolithic forefathers. Many aspects of contemporary civilisation may be traced back to this point in history when humans began living in communities.
There was no one cause that prompted people to start farming about 12,000 years ago. The Neolithic Revolution’s reasons may have differed from place to region.
Around 14,000 years ago, near the conclusion of the last Ice Age, the Earth began to warm. Some experts believe that climate change was the driving force behind the Agricultural Revolution.
Wild wheat and barley started to grow in the Fertile Crescent, which is limited on the west by the Mediterranean Sea and on the east by the Persian Gulf, as the weather warmed. Natufians, a pre-Neolithic culture, began to erect permanent dwellings in the area.
Other researchers believe that intellectual advancements in the human brain have led humans to settle down. Religious objects and creative iconography, the forefathers of human civilisation, have been discovered in the earliest Neolithic villages.
The Neolithic Era started when certain groups of humanity abandoned their nomadic, hunter-gatherer lifestyle in favor of farming. It may have taken hundreds or even thousands of years for people to completely move from a lifestyle of subsisting on wild plants to managing tiny gardens and, eventually, massive agricultural fields.
In southern Turkey, the archaeological site of atalhöyük is one of the best-preserved Neolithic villages. The study of atalhöyük has provided scholars with a greater understanding of the shift from a nomadic hunting and gathering lifestyle to an agricultural existence.
More than a dozen mud-brick homes have been discovered at the 9,500-year-old atalhöyük. They think that up to 8,000 people resided here at one point. The dwellings were so close together that people had to access them via a hole in the roof.
Attalhöyük’s people seem to have valued art and spirituality. They buried their deceased under their homes’ flooring. Murals depicting men hunting, livestock, and feminine deities adorn the walls of the dwellings.
Plant domestication: Cereals such as emmer wheat, einkorn wheat, and barley were among the earliest crops domesticated in the Fertile Crescent by Neolithic agricultural groups. Lentils, chickpeas, peas, and flax were also cultivated by these early farmers.
Domestication is the process by which farmers breed consecutive generations of a plant or animal to select for desired qualities. A domestic species diverges from its wild counterpart over time.
Crops that were readily harvested were preferred by Neolithic farmers. When wild wheat is mature, it falls to the ground and shatters. For simpler harvesting, early people produced wheat that lingered on the stem.
Around the same time as farmers in the Fertile Crescent began to seed wheat, Asians began to produce rice and millet. Archaeologists have unearthed Stone Age rice paddies in Chinese marshes going back at least 7,700 years.
Squash cultivation originated roughly 10,000 years ago in Mexico, whereas maize-like crops appeared around 9,000 years ago.
Cattle: The earliest livestock were domesticated from animals killed for meat by Neolithic people. Domestic pigs, for example, were developed from wild boars, whilst goats were derived from Persian ibex. Domesticated animals enabled the hard, physical work of farming, while their milk and flesh supplemented the human diet.
They also carried contagious illnesses like as smallpox, influenza, and measles, which were transmitted from domesticated animals to people.
Sheep and cattle were among the earliest agricultural animals. Between 10,000 and 13,000 years ago, they first appeared in Mesopotamia. Soon after, water buffalo and yak were domesticated in China, India, and Tibet.
Oxen, donkeys, and camels arose considerably later, approximately 4,000 B.C., when people built trade routes for carrying commodities.
The archaeological site of Tell Abu Hureyra, a tiny town situated along the Euphrates River in modern Syria, has some of the oldest traces of cultivation. From around 11,500 to 7,000 B.C., the settlement was inhabited.
Tell Abu Hureyra’s inhabitants first hunted gazelle and other wildlife. They started harvesting wild grains about 9,700 B.C. At the site, many big stone implements for grinding grain were discovered.
The Neolithic Revolution resulted in large numbers of people establishing permanent communities based on farming and agriculture. It prepared the stage for the subsequent Bronze and Iron Age breakthroughs, when advances in agricultural implements, warfare, and art swept the globe, bringing civilizations together via commerce and conquest.
The Neolithic era is notable for its megalithic architecture, agricultural practice expansion, and usage of polished stone implements.
The Neolithic Revolution resulted in the establishment of permanent communities, sedentary farming, increased life expectancy, and population growth.