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Unformatted text preview: tural products that were difficult to eat
or digest raw. They made cloth from
flax and wool.
Because crops required constant
care from planting to harvest, Neolithic farmers built permanent
dwellings. The earliest of these
dwellings tended to be circular huts,
large enough to house only one or two
people and clustered in groups
around a central storage place. Later
people built square and rectangular
family-sized houses with individual
storage places and enclosures to
house livestock. Houses in a Neolithic village were normally all the
same size and were built on the same
plan, suggesting that most Neolithic
villagers had about the same level of
wealth and social status. A few items,
such as stones
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The Neolithic Village
long distance, but Neolithic villages
tended to be self-sufficient.
Two larger Neolithic settlements
do not fit this village pattern. One
was found at Çatal Hüyük, in a
fertile agricultural region about
150 miles south of Ankara, the capital of present-day Turkey. This was a
large town covering over 15 acres,
with a population probably well over
6,000 people. The houses were clusRead the Document
tered so closely that they had no
Redefining Self—From Tribe to
doors but were entered by ladders
Village to City 1500 B.C.E.
from the roofs.
Many of these houses were decorated inside with sculptures of animal heads and horns, as well as paintings that
were apparently redone regularly. Some appear to depict ritual or festive occasions involving men and women. One is the CRAIMC01_001-039hr.qxp 8/12/10 3:57 PM Page 7 Chapter 1 Çatal Hüyük. The diagram reconstructs part of Çatal Hüyük on the basis of
archaeological findings. Reprinted by permission of the Catalhoyuk Research Project. world’s oldest landscape picture, showing a nearby volcano exploding. The agriculture, arts, and crafts of this town were astonishingly diversified and at a much higher level of attainment than in other, smaller settlements of the period. The site
of Jericho, an oasis around a spring near the Dead Sea, was
occupied as early as 12,000 B.C.E. Around 8000 B.C.E. a town
of 8 to 10 acres grew up, surrounded by a massive stone wall
with at least one tower against the inner face. Although this
wall may have been for defense, scholars dispute its use because no other Neolithic settlement has been found with
fortifications. The inhabitants of Neolithic Jericho had a
mixed agricultural, herding, and hunting economy and may
have traded salt. They had no pottery but plastered the skulls
of their dead to make realistic memorial portraits of them.
These two sites show that the economy and the settlement
patterns of the Neolithic period may be more complicated
than many scholars have thought.
Throughout the Paleolithic Age, the human population
had been small and relatively stable. The shift from food
gathering to food production may not have been associated
with an immediate change in population, but over time in
the regions where agriculture an...
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This document was uploaded on 04/03/2014.
- Spring '14