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World History
Posted 3 months ago
Discuss the ways in which animal and plant cultivation of the Neolithic Age changed humanity economically, politically, religiously, socially, and technologically. To substantiate your points about these changes and advances, cite specific examples, such as, but not necessarily limited to, Jericho and Catal Huyuk. In addition, identify the time frames in which these changes occurred.
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Answer from Sia
Posted 3 months ago
Key Concept
The Neolithic Revolution marked a significant turning point in human history as it led to the development of agriculture, which in turn transformed economic, political, religious, social, and technological aspects of human societies.


Essay:
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The advent of animal and plant cultivation during the Neolithic Age, approximately 10,000 BCE to 2,000 BCE, fundamentally altered the trajectory of human civilization. The shift from nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyles to settled agricultural communities facilitated profound economic, political, religious, social, and technological changes. Economically, the Neolithic Revolution enabled the production of surplus food, which was a prerequisite for the development of complex societies. The ability to store and control food supplies led to the emergence of social stratification and specialized labor. For example, in Jericho, one of the oldest known Neolithic settlements, the surplus of resources allowed for a division of labor beyond agricultural production, including pottery and tool-making. Politically, the accumulation of surplus resources and the resultant social stratification necessitated new forms of governance. The need to organize labor, distribute resources, and defend settlements likely contributed to the development of leadership roles and proto-governmental structures. Catal Huyuk, another early Neolithic site, shows evidence of complex social organization, with distinct areas for religious activities, suggesting a coordinated community effort. Religiously, the Neolithic Age saw the rise of organized religious practices and the construction of ritual spaces. The control over food production may have led to beliefs in deities or forces that could influence agricultural success. In Catal Huyuk, archaeologists have found evidence of shrines and religious artifacts, indicating a structured religious life that likely played a role in unifying the community and legitimizing social hierarchies. Socially, the establishment of permanent settlements facilitated the development of more complex social networks and familial structures. The concept of private property emerged as individuals and families began to claim ownership of land and resources. This shift is evident in the layout of settlements like Jericho, where individual homes were built with thick walls, suggesting a sense of personal space and ownership. Technologically, the Neolithic Revolution spurred innovation in farming techniques and tool production. The domestication of animals led to the invention of plows and other agricultural implements, while the cultivation of plants encouraged the development of irrigation systems. These advancements are reflected in the archaeological remains of early agricultural tools found in Neolithic sites. In conclusion, the Neolithic Age was a period of dramatic change that laid the foundations for modern civilization. The economic, political, religious, social, and technological transformations that occurred during this time were interrelated and set the stage for further developments in human history.

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