People develop over time. Each generation is further ahead than the last. Every new invention leads to a better world. But is this really so? We are all aware of current and past crises. However, what about the oldest, which occurred during the Neolithic? Today we will talk about the Neolithic Revolution.
The Neolithic or Young or New Stone Age began about 7,000 BC and lasted until about 4,000 BC. During this time people began to engage in agriculture and animal husbandry. In school we learn that this period marked by social and technical changes was a great discovery that changed the fate of humanity.
We also believe it was an advancement that everyone embraced. Actually, however, this was not the case. Not everyone accepted this change. Some people didn’t take up farming and ranching until many years later, because they still preferred to be hunters and gatherers.
The Neolithic is one of the periods of the Stone Age that we know the least about. At the same time, however, it is one of the most important. During the Neolithic, innovations took place that greatly shaped the future of the world.
These include animal husbandry and agriculture, war, property, writing and distribution of power. However, we could also say that the problems of mankind began during this period.
During this period, humanity began to transform and adapt its environment to its needs. As a result , the population grew explosively.
What we learn in school about the Neolithic
If we are to believe essayist Yuval Noah Harari, the Neolithic is the greatest scam in human history: “Instead of foreshadowing a new era of convenience, the agricultural revolution has created lives that are generally more difficult and less satisfactory than those of collectors.”
Life as hunter-gatherers was better. Researchers believe that hunter-gatherers had less stress due to a lack of food. Their diet was more nutritious and they did not wage war with each other. They only got sicker if they lived near animals.
In schools, students are told that the Neolithic Revolution enabled people to eradicate hunger because they learned to tame plants and animals and create cities. However, this is not true. Many agricultural societies have given up farming and ranching and have returned to the hunter-gatherer lifestyle.
They have also re-adopted farming several times. Various natural disasters, such as plagues, deforestation or soil salinity, stimulated these cycles. For 5,000 years, people moved from one way of life to another depending on environmental conditions.
What the Neolithic Revolution left us
The Neolithic Revolution left a clear message: a well-regulated and transformed natural environment can feed many people. But man has twisted this message.
Some examples are the exploitation of the environment, genetic manipulation of seeds, social inequality and domination over the weakest. People have never managed to live in harmony because they refuse to share what they have with each other.
The idea of a single Neolithic revolution taking place in the Middle East has since been rejected. Instead , researchers believe there were multiple revolutions that happened more or less simultaneously.
You had wheat in the Middle East, rice in China and corn in America. All of them form the agricultural revolution which, thanks to the migration of the first peasants, finally reached Europe.
The Neolithic Revolution caused unprecedented population growth. It led to human migration, as well as the migration of ideas and materials. While we don’t know much about this Stone Age period, we know for sure that it changed everything.