History, Periods 5-6
November 8, 2007
Agriculture Changes the World
Have you ever wondered how people around the Old Stone Age got their food without grocery stores? Well, the earliest humans hunted and gathered their food during the Paleolithic Era (Old Stone Age). Hunting for their food caused them to migrate from place to place therefore, they were nomadic. Eventually, they began to farm, develop civilizations, and domesticate plants and animals. This event is history is called the Agricultural Revolution.
Geography caused people to settle down and switch to agriculture because global warming caused the Ice Age glaciers to retreat so new lands opened up. Eventually the early humans spilled seeds and learned to domesticate plants and animals. Food gatherers got the idea of agriculture. People learned how to make hoes to loosen the soil and sickles to harvest grain. Fertile soil produced bigger and better crops than the land cleared by the slash-and-burn agriculture so that attracted farmers.
The soil near river valleys were very fertile so, they settled in near the river valleys and went to work out in the fields. The African farmers along the Nile were one of the first to use irrigation, the watering of crops, by building dikes and canals.
The early humans were hunter-gatherers and then changed to farmers. They used to live in simple villages but, since they had settled down they constructed more complex villages that could hold several thousand people. Since the people didn't have to hunt for their food anymore they had extra time so they had surpluses of food. With their extra time, they specialized in a certain skill (specialization of labor). Their lives changed because they worked less, they could have surpluses of food to eat or trade for things they...