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Unformatted text preview: The Neolithic Revolution The Neolithic Revolution
• Also called the Food-Producing Revolution (know both labels). • What was it? – The domestication of plants and animals. • When was it? – It began after the end of the last Ice Age:
– LGM, 20,000 BCE, followed by gradual, uneven warming; – by 15,000 BCE, glaciers began to melt; – warm period from ca. 12,700 to 10,800 BCE; cold period (Younger Dryas) from 10,800 to 9,600 BCE. • Where was it? – Fertile Crescent and other places. Fertile Crescent (courtesy of Oriental Institute) Where else?
• The food-Producing Revolution also occurred independently in: • Egypt & India: before 6,000 BCE. • China: about 7,000 BCE. • South & Central America: before 4000 BCE? • North America: about 2,000-3,000 years ago. A Note on the Mesolithic
• Mesolithic Age – roughly, from about 12,300 to about 9,600 BCE, corresponding to the initial warming phase to the end of the Younger Dryas (there are other sets of dates you may encounter). • In many places archaeologists have found evidence for sedentary communities of Mesolithic hunter-gatherers. Younger Dryas brought this emerging lifestyle to an end for about a thousand years. Some Early Neolithic Sites The Founding Plants
• All of the following were domesticated by about 8500 BCE in Western Asia. These were apparently the first domesticated plants and are called the founding plants. • Emmer Both are types of wheat • Eincorn • Barley • Peas • Chick peas • Lentils • Bitter Vetch Founding Animals
• Dog – before ca. 10000 BCE (Fertile Crescent, North America, and China). • Goat – ca. 8000 BCE (Fertile Crescent). • Sheep – ca. 8000 (Fertile Crescent). • Pig – ca. 8000 (Fertile Crescent & China). • Cattle – ca. 6000 (Fertile Crescent, N. Africa, India). • Horse – ca. 4000 (Ukraine). New Diseases
• Many diseases that have threatened humanity seem to have become threats during the Neolithic period. A few of them include: Measles, tuberculosis, smallpox from cattle; Influenza from pigs and ducks; Whooping cough (pertussis) from pigs and dogs; Falciparum malaria from chickens. • • • • New Crafts & Skills
• • • • • • • • Brick making. Fermentation. Orchard husbandry. Pottery. Sail. Weaving. Wheel. Smelting of metal. Some Early Sites
• Jericho: by 9,500 perhaps 500 people were living at the site of Jericho, within 500 years that number had doubled. Jericho had developed into a walled town. The people that built Jericho are referred to by Archeologists as Natufians. Natufian culture is found in the area from the early Mesolithic period. Göbekli Tepe, contemporary with early Jericho and the site of magnificent monoliths. In Anatolia, several sites belonging to an apparently different, but early, culture have been found. Çatal Höyük is the most famous of these settlements. • • • Artist’s representation of Early Jericho Images of Göbekli Tepe Video of Gobekli Tepe Çatal Höyük (or Çatal Hüyük) Çatal Höyük was occupied from about 7,400 BCE. The site was abandoned about 5,700 BCE. In other words it is contemporary with Jericho. The architecture and artifacts, however, are very different than those associated with the Natufian culture of Jericho. Çatal Höyük Mellaart’s drawing of the site (above). Photo of Mellaart’s excavations of the 1960s (below). Both are courtesy of Çatal Höyük research project, as is the previous slide. Summary
• The Food-Producing Revolution occurred many times. • The evidence still supports the view that, at least as a sustainable new way of life, it began in the Fertile Crescent roughly about 10,000 years ago. • At the same time recent excavations are calling into question some earlier conclusions. • One thing that seems certain is that there will be further revision to current understanding. ...
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This note was uploaded on 10/07/2010 for the course HIS 1000 taught by Professor Anderson during the Winter '10 term at Wayne State University.
- Winter '10
- Fertile Crescent