Causes Of The Neolithic Revolution

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Initiation of the Neolithic Revolution
When considering the most plausible theory for the catalyst that began the Neolithic Revolution, one must look directly at the changing climate of the region. Approximately 18,000 BC, the earth was experiencing a climactic transition, brought about by the end of the Last Glacial Maximum. During this transition the earth began to experience warming temperatures, which dramatically changed the landscape, and the very existence of the hunter-gatherer populations. The oscillating temperatures that occurred during the next few thousand years help guide the trajectory of development in agriculture and human societies.
While considering the weather, Barry Cunliffe, author of Europe Between the Oceans states, “By about 12,000 BC dense forest covered much of the western part of the hilly flanks region, giving way, around its borders, to more open areas where extensive stands of wild wheats and ryes could flourish” (91). This period of warmer weather is referred to as the Holocene. The thawing ice sheets also caused water to rise, and subsequently change not only the structure of the land, but the plant life as well. As the hunter-gatherers adjusted to these changes in their environment, another climactic event ensued called the Younger Dryas. The Younger Dryas was a dramatic, and brief return to the cooler, dryer climate experienced as the Last Glacial Maximum was ending. The general thinking is that this phenomenon occurred due to very cold
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