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Neolithic Revolution


The era of Neolithic Revolution is marked with great social, economic, and political change in human history. Humans started their life on earth by hunting and gathering until 10,000 BC. By the beginning of 10,000 BC, humans had discovered the art of cultivating crops and domesticating animals. The hunting and gathering was replaced with cultivating crops and raising cattle. This gave rise to permanent settlements as the agriculture requires settling permanently in one place as compared to hunting and gathering that involves moving from place to place. The permanent settlements gave rise to the ‘civilization’. For this reason, the era after 10,000 BC is termed as Neolithic Revolution (Paleolithic Revolution being its precedent).

The earliest civilizations that flourished during the Neolithic Revolution such as Mesopotamia, Egypt, India, and China started out at the bank of Nile, Euphrates, Tigris, Indus, and Yellow Rivers as the water made these lands fertile for the cultivation of crops and domesticating of animals. During this era, the tools made from metals and stone for agricultural use were developed. Professions such as priests, farmers, and shepherds took shape during this revolution. The revolutionary time period brought with it the gift of disease as well as the sedentary lifestyle and domesticating animals led to inadequate sanitary conditions. The earliest diseases transferred from animals to men included small pox, measles, and influenza. Moreover, the nutritional value of the food during this period was not as much as during the Paleolithic period due to hunting and gathering.

Neolithic Revolution is known for the great social changes. In fact, the society itself started during this revolution due to the formation of villages and tribes. The change in lifestyle of the people set foundation for social institutions, social norms, values, culture and social order, which were absent in the Paleolithic culture. The foundation of religion and clergy took its form as people had started to believe in the supernatural force behind natural disasters such as earthquakes, floods, and hurricanes. The administration of the villages was given in the hands of the elderly members, which gave rise to the concept of power and political leadership. The resources and their utilization raised social classes and hence, the social conflict. Women played their role in the revolution by contributing in the fields as well as home. Neolithic Revolution is certainly the period that distinguished man from animals as it was characterized by the formation of human society.

 

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