Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
The Neolithic Revolution was a term first suggested by the Australian archaeologist Vere Gordon Childe as an explanation for the switch made by ancient peoples from nomadic, hunter-gatherer behaviour to a settled, agrarian way of life, during the neolithic period.
A key factor in this change was that global temperatures had risen, making plants more efficient at producing crops.
Believed to have occurred somewhere in southwest Asia around 8000 BC 7000 BC, it has been called the single most important change in the history of humanity. Living in one spot would have more easily permitted the accrual of personal possessions and an attachment to certain areas of land. From such a position, it is argued that prehistoric people were able to stockpile food to survive lean times and trade unwanted surpluses with others. Once trade and a secure food supply were established, populations could grow, and society would have diversified into food producers and artisans. Such relative complexity would have required some form of social organisation to work efficiently and so it is likely that populations which had such organisation, perhaps such as that provided by religion were better prepared and more successful. Also, during this time property ownership became increasingly important to all people.
Ultimately, Childe argued that this growing social complexity, all rooted in the original decision to settle, led to a second Urban Revolution in which the first cities were built.
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