Unit 18000 BCE - 600 BCE
Environmental and Periodization Issues The ability to settle was based almost entirely on successful cultivation of crops and domestication of animals. These drastic changes in human life are known collectively as the Neolithic Revolution that almost certainly happened independently in different places over a large span of time. Although the Neolithic Revolution was one of the most significant Marker Events in world history, it occurred gradually and probably by trial and error.
The Changes that Resulted Include... An increase in reliable food suppliesAgricultural skills allowed people to control food production and domestication of animals helped to make agricultural production more efficient which increased the availability of food. A rapid increase in total human populationReliable food supplies meant that people were less likely to starve to death. With increasing life spans came increasing reproduction and more children meant that there were more people to tend the land and animals. Job specializationOther occupations than farming developed, since fewer people were needed to produce food. Widening of gender differencesStatus distinctions between men and women increased, as men took over most agricultural cultivation and domestication of animals. Women were responsible for raising children and keeping the house, but in virtually all of the early civilizations, men became more and more dominant. A patriarchal system commonly developed, with men holding power in the family, the economy, and the government. Development of distinction between settled people and "nomads"All people did not settle into communities but remained as hunters and gatherers. As more settled communities developed, the distinction between agriculturalists and hunters and gatherers grew.