Neolithic Age

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Neolithic Age by Mind Map: Neolithic Age

1. Agricultural revolution

1.1. People didn't hunt as much as they used to

1.2. Food production (growing plants) became more common

1.2.1. Lots of new stone tools: stone heads to work the soil, stone chips stuck in bone to cut grass, and stone mortars to cut grain

1.2.2. Fire used to clear trees/bushes, so plants could be grown

1.2.3. Shifting cultivation - farmers grew plants on one section of land for several years, then left that section fallow (inactive) to let it regain fertility while they used different fields for a while

1.3. People also began domesticating animals for meat, milk, wool, and energy; also, animal droppings made great fertilizer

1.4. Happened all over the world

1.4.1. Greece - grew wheat and barley starting in 6000 BC

1.4.2. Middle East - people rotated between growing different plants, to keep the soil fertile

1.4.3. Eastern Sahara - grew wheat and barley; raised sheep, goats, and cattle

1.4.4. South of the Sahara - grew sorghums, millets, and yams

1.4.5. China - rice; domesticated water buffalo

1.4.6. India - rice, hyacinth beans, green grams, and black grams; domesticated humped-back zebu

1.4.7. Americas (Tehuacan Valley of Mexico) - corn

1.4.8. Peru - potatoes and quinoa

1.4.9. Mesopotamia - started using agriculture in 5000 BC; grew barley and vegetables; had to use irrigation because of the dry, arid climate

1.5. Supported a HUGE population increase - there were about 2 million people 13,000 years ago, and there were 50-100 million people in 1000 BC.

2. Metalworking became popular

3. Interaction between humans and the environment

3.1. The rise of agriculture led to the decline of wandering, nomadic people - instead, humans began building permanent settlements

3.2. Humans started growing food and burning down trees to create space

3.3. Because farmers' diets were less varied, farmers tended to be shorter and more susceptible to disease than foragers

3.3.1. Farming settlements were VERY vulnerable to disease because of all the human waste, vermin/insects, and the domesticated animals

3.4. Humans developed irrigation, a system used to bring water to the fields in dry areas

4. Development and interaction of cultures

4.1. Religion

4.1.1. Farmers and foragers had different religions

4.1.1.1. Farmers' religion: focused on Mother Earth, the Sky God, and the gods of fire, wind, and rain

4.1.1.2. Foragers' religion: focused on sacred groves, springs, and wild animals

4.1.2. Kinship led to respect and reverence for dead ancestors; old people got fancy burials

4.1.3. People built megaliths for their religions; one example is Stonehenge

4.1.4. The town of Catal Huyuk was very religious - there was 1 shrine for every 2 houses! Statues of fat women suggest that the people worshipped a female goddess

4.1.4.1. Development and transformation of social structures

4.1.4.1.1. Farming communities were connected through kinship and marriage

4.1.4.1.2. Several Neolithic villages grew into towns, such as Jericho and Catal Huyuk; however, Catal Huyuk did not have a social class system

4.1.4.1.3. Women seemed to be more powerful than men - they administered the religion in Catal Yuyuk, lineage was traced through one's mother, and researchers think that women might have ruled in early times.

4.2. Art

4.2.1. The people in the town Catal Huyuk were into art - they painted hunting scenes

5. State-building, expansion, and conflict

5.1. Some historians think that there were battles between the farmers and the foragers, because the farmers were clearing all the land and therefore reducing the foragers' food supply

5.2. Other historians believe that there was peace between the farmers and the foragers

5.2.1. The archaelogist Colin Renfrew thinks that the farmers with fields farthest away from their homes moved and built settlements closer to their fields, leading to a peaceful expansion of farmers

5.3. The population of farmers steadily increased because they had a dependable food supply

5.4. Studies show that farmers spread from southeast Europe to northwest Europe

6. Creation, expansion, and interaction of economic systems

6.1. Pastoralism - a way of life dependent on large herds of grazing livestock; became common in arid regions like the Sahara

6.1.1. This made pastoralists, people in charge of moving the herds around to new feeding/watering places, more common