Neolithic Revolution Essay

1756 Words8 Pages

The emergence of agriculture was a major stepping stone in human history. During this birth of agriculture, also known as the Neolithic revolution, humans began inhabiting permanent settlements, grow their own crops, and domesticate both plants and animals for food (Weisdorf, 2005). Considering humans have been hunter-gatherers for the majority of their approximately 7 million years of existence, the emergence of agriculture in the Old World only occurring 10,000-5,000 years ago, marks a significant transformation in food sustenance techniques (Weisdorf, 2005). However, this turning point in history is associated with both positive and negative implications. There is much controversy over whether or not the introduction of
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Early Neolithic remains found at Catal Hüyük showed similar pathology, in which porotic hypertosis affect approximately 41% of the population (Angel, 1971). In addition, transverse linear hypoplasia markers were common on teeth throughout the population, these are generally indicators of early childhood stresses such as disease or malnutrition (Angel, 1971). From these two sites, it can clearly be seen that the diet composition had a great effect on the health of Neolithic era humans. The excessive amount of skeletal markers that indicate malnutrition can suggest the Neolithic diet lacked the nutrients needed for humans to be healthy. The Alepotrypa skeletal remains had also shown high incidents of osteoarthritis generally located in the spine, this could be an indicator of a physically stress full lifestyle (Papathanasiou, 2005). The stress markers on these bones are very different from early hunter-gatherers who were generally free of dietary and activity influenced diseases (O’Keefe & Cordain, 2004). This comparison is fairly significant as Neolithic individuals had a very different lifestyle from that of the hunter-gatherers. Evidently, early Neolithic individuals likely participated in much more labor intense activities than hunter-gatherers during daily life. Regardless of the causes for dietary and stress related skeletal markers, it can be seen that the Neolithic populations experienced poor health in comparison to hunter-gatherers. Neolithic populations
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