The Neolithic period was the last period in the stone age, and is sometimes referred to as the “new stone age”. After coining the word “stone age”, scholars decided to divide it into different periods, ie including the Paleolithic, Mesolithic and Neolithic periods. This period is commonly known as the period in which the spread of agricultural practices and the use of polished stone tools developed. The Neolithic term is always used in connection with agriculture when the cultivation of cereals and the domestication of animals was introduced. The period went from 10,200 BC to 2,000 BC and began in the Middle East and then spread to other parts of the world. The human species to enter this stage of evolution was Homo sapiens sapiens.
Increase of the Neolithic period
An important catalyst for the Neolithic revolution was a change in climatic conditions, which became drier in most of the then inhabited parts of our world. The people had previously been nomadic and practiced hunting and gathering. People who lived near rivers and other sources of water began to cultivate and water the wild beans which they subsequently harvested and sowed later. Agriculture expanded and included a wide range of crops. Even the domestication of the animals for the meat began and ceased to depend entirely on hunting. The first domestic animals were dogs, sheep and goats. Animal skins were also used for clothing. Linen and wool clothes were later used in the later phases of the Neolithic period.
Changes in ways of life
The Neolithic period led to a greater abundance of food and also to greater food security. Increases in food have led to an increase in the size of the human population. The development of agriculture instead of hunting and gathering has allowed human beings to live a more stable lifestyle. People started living in groups and this made it necessary to have better and more complicated forms of communication. In the advanced stages, governments were needed because people had begun to live in settlements with more rigorous and more complex social situations. Agriculture has led to food surpluses that have led to an increase in population and excesses. During hunting and harvesting periods, both men and women have participated in food hunting activities with women who are responsible for raising children. During the Neolithic period, there was a division of labor into a family in which men worked on farms while women were engaged in other roles as housewives. There was less time to get the necessary amount of food and therefore more time for recreational activities that made people more social.
The greatest positive impact of the Neolithic revolution was the rise of civilizations. It is considered the period in which people started living in groups and family units. Agricultural and pastoral development has allowed people to have more time to develop other jobs and skills for the benefit of individuals and society as a whole. The division and specialization have improved productivity and also improved people’s living standards. It was also the period in which the ceramic was introduced which further guaranteed food safety since it was now possible to preserve the cereals in pots.
Critics of the Neolithic revolution have argued that this period has led to the creation of social classes in the world due to people who increasingly exploit opportunities at the expense of others. The gap between rich and poor has begun to develop at this stage and has remained unresolved to this day. The food was in abundance and this led to overpopulation. Excessive land use has led to environmental degradation in the long term. Others have also mentioned the excessive consumption of cereals and meat, which can be unhealthy in large quantities, and subsequently contributed to some of the chronic diseases of modern times, such as obesity, diabetes and cancer.