What was the Neolithic Revolution? Facts and Information

Here are some facts about the Neolithic Revolution.

  • The Neolithic Revolution was the time when many people all over the world changed from a lifestyle of hunting and gathering, to one of farming and settlements. It took place from about 12000 BC to 8000 BC, during the Stone Age.

  • The term Neolithic Revolution was coined by an Australian archaeologist in the 1920s. Gordon Childe thought this event was as important as the Industrial Revolution, which took place about 14000 years later.
  • The Neolithic Revolution began in the Fertile Crescent in what is today Iraq. The world’s first big cities were also founded at about this time, including Babylon.
  • Jericho was one of the earliest villages built, about 10,000 BC. Several thousand people lived and worked there and lived in buildings in pits, later building huge walls to protect the city.
  • Animals, such as sheep, pigs and goats were first domesticated during the Neolithic Revolution. The use of these animals spread to Europe and Africa, as the climate became drier in the Fertile Crescent.
  • People also began to store food, rather than eat it all at once, which led to trading between settlements. One of the earliest seed grinding plants, dating from about 17000 BC was discovered in Israel.
  • The Neolithic Revolution led to an increase in population. It also saw groups of people form committees to make important decisions, and form armies to defend their settlements, and to attack others.
  • Diseases spread more quickly during this time, although several peoples became more immune to disease. The movement of animals helped to spread disease more effectively.
  • New technologies were also devised during the Neolithic Revolution. These included using animals to plough fields, weaving cloth for clothing, and making pottery for storage and cooking.
  • People learned to measure time, so that they could plant and harvest crops. This skill eventually led to the introduction of the first calendars.

Stone Age: Facts and Information

Here are some facts about the Stone Age.

  • The Stone Age began about 3.7 million years ago, and lasted until about 2000 BC. This long period was one in which stone was widely used to make tools or utensils.

  • Archaeologists divide the Stone Age into three periods: Paleolithic, Mesolithic and then Neolithic. About 99 percent of humans’ time on earth took place during the Paleolithic period.
  • The Paleolithic age saw humans use stones to bash, hit and scrape. By the end of the Paleolithic era, humans had learned to make sharp tools, and lived together in small groups.
  • One of the oldest stone tools found is about 3.4 million years old and was found in Africa. The first man-made structure was also built in Africa, about 2 million years ago.
  • Farming was introduced during the Neolithic part of the Stone Age, and people cared for goats, sheep and pigs. Pottery was invented during this time, and people used writing for the first time.
  • Painting animals on cave walls was popular, and these may have been used in rituals. Some of the best paintings are in the caves at Chauvet, France, dating to 31,000 BC.
  • Much of the world was colder during the Stone Age. People learned to keep warm and to move regularly so that they could hunt the herds of animals.
  • Stone Age people lived in huts made of wood or stone, often covered with animal skins, or clay. Some huts were also made from the huge bones of woolly mammoths.
  • A Stone Age village, Skara Brae, dating from about 3000 BC, was excavated on the Orkney Islands. The houses had seats, dressers and storage units, as well as a drainage system and toilets.
  • Stone Age people ate wild plants, nuts, berries and grains, as well as animals. Some archaeologists believe that people living in colder regions ate more meat and fish.