The Dawn of Agriculture
The fact that our population continues grow exponentially, agriculture allows us to farm and we have land to sustain that tremendous amount of our population.
The hunter-gatherers of Neolithic Age were essentially the first to start thinking about the future, not just living in the moment. The climate was stabilizing, and minds became more complex. The thought process people in that period of time had was increasing. It because more difficult to find animals to hunt, and more groups of people were settling down in their own colonies, not being able to freelance hunting anymore, they came to the conclusion that hunting and planning accordingly can help them survive much more than what they did in the past. Once the hunter/gathers found a nice settlement where they can sustain life for a long period of time, they started to think about tomorrow and the future. Their minds became more complex and refined, they believed in domestication smaller animals that provided them a higher yield in sustainability rather than hunt just for today and worry about tomorrow when it inevitably came. “The benefits of animal domestication were obvious–secure supplies of meat, milk, fur, leather, wool, and even bones and horns for tool-making” (Hillel, 1998). This lifestyle came with risk, if a wanderer would see your thriving settlement, what is going to stop that person from raiding and taking what you have that is a disadvantage of having a settlement lifestyle. An advantage would be that you are providing for more people for longer periods of time and you can focus on living your life, as oppose to always being on alert.
Within the great transition period, lifestyles around the world were different, this was mainly because of the environment the people were living in. If you found yourself near a rive, you would most likely be farming plants and fishing to make it short and simple. While on the other hand if you found yourself in a dry climate you found yourself not really thinking about farming but more likely to think about hunting and domesticating animals to farm and reproduce them to sustain your life in the settlement. “The agriculture transformation radically changed almost ever aspect of human life. Food production and storage stimulated specialization of activities, and great enhanced the division of labor…in hunting-gathering societies” (Hillel, 1998). There was bound to be changes within lives and societies due to climate and environment. This later brought up some differences with culture, beliefs and mentality. One society might argue that eating animals is wrong, while the other might believe that they are wrong for not eating animals, they might even reference the bible. Social structure was very influence by the way the settlements were living at the time and their day to day actions.
If we fast-forward today, we can definitely see the changes, we have grocery stores, we don’t hunt, we don’t live by any rivers and don’t rely on fishing on a daily basis we don’t have domesticated animals that provide fur, we go and buy food, clothes, medicine. These changes are tremendous compared to how it all started in the Neolithic Revolution. If something were to happen in our present day lives and we were having to be forced to live like our ancestors that lived in 4000 B.C we would not survive. Although, one can argue that we are way more intelligent that how we were in the past, and we have developed more tools than how it started I still genuinely believe that we would not survive at all being hunter/gathers and 100% dependent on farming. That is why I always believed that learning about the past, will definitely aid in our future, and learning about the future will help our past as well.
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