Neolithic Revolution Essay

Custom Student Mr. Teacher ENG 1001-04 13 May 2016

Neolithic Revolution

The Neolithic Revolution was a fundamental change in the way people lived. The shift from hunting & gathering to agriculture led to permanent settlements, the establishment of social classes, and the eventual rise of civilizations. It was a revolution of achieving social and technological advances, while economic, political, and social changes resulted from the rise of cities, allowing the ability to support an increasingly large population. Therefore, the Neolithic Revolution led to the seven traits of civilization.

Prior to the Neolithic Revolution’s transformations, people were forced to hunt for their own food. This resulted in humans following their food sources’ trail, whether it be hunting an animal, or essential natural resources. Because of the fact that people were constantly shifting from area to area based on their food, this labeled them as nomads; people who did not have a permanent home or residence. Due to the lack of food, there was a small population. Then, gradually, the Neolithic Revolution began to take place at different times and different places, a time period where humans shifted from gathering and hunting food to producing it. People began domesticating animals to provide food, as well as plants and crops, which varied depending on climate. As a result of domestication, agriculture began to take form. Agriculture is the farming of animals and plants, which made life easier and enabled people to remain in the same place. These were some of the building blocks for civilization that took place during the Neolithic Revolution.

Agriculture led to villages because farming encouraged the formation of larger and more stable communities than had existed before Neolithic times. Most hunting humans moved in small groups containing no more than 60 individuals who could not settle in a single spot lest the game run out. With settled agriculture the constraints changed. Communities developed around the cleared and improved fields. Now that food was plentiful and able to be harvested, population strongly increased. With more people and a lack of diverse jobs, specialization of labor was developed when men and women became artisans, growing increasingly productive and creative. This occurred since farmers grew all the food, and not everyone had to be a farmer. Gradually, humans became innovative and improved quality and numbers of their products. People were slowly yet steadily continuing to progress towards the seven traits of civilization.

Specialization of labor began to then lead to the seven traits of civilization. As villages evolved into cities and became more complex, many new jobs developed. For instance, officials gathered taxes, engineers planned irrigation systems, and soldiers defended city walls, resulting in government and military. As life in cities grew increasingly complex, people began to keep permanent records and developed writing. Other humans became skilled artisans who devoted their time to crafts such as baskets, metalwork, or pottery, while others built large public works such as temples or buildings. This was the development of art and architecture.

Religion then resulted from things people could not explain, with early civilizations which had formal religious institutions that included ceremonies, rituals, and other forms of worship. As urban societies developed institutions and specialized labor, a social order developed based on people’s occupations, wealth, and influence. Due to their experience with agriculture, humans of the Neolithic Revolution then improved their farming systems and advanced their personal resources to be more productive. As shown, all of the seven traits were a result of the Neolithic Revolution, and led to civilization.

The Neolithic Revolution caused the seven traits to take effect. If it weren’t for those traits, we may still be undeveloped nomads today. Having taken a huge step towards modern society, the early humans who lived during the Neolithic Revolution were hard at work in learning how to start a civilization. They have given up their nomadic days and discovered the advantages to settling down in one area. No longer were lives at risk every day. The Neolithic Revolution was the first step in building a modern society where humans can live in peace and not worry about betting on their lives for days’ worth of food and finally able to rest their minds without worry. The Neolithic Revolution was a crucial part of human history and without it, we would not have civilization.

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  • University/College: University of Chicago

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  • Date: 13 May 2016

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