The Pros and Cons of the Neolithic Revolution Essay

933 Words Nov 21st, 2013 4 Pages
Introduction

In the 1930's, V. Gordon Childe proposed that the shift to food production was one of the two major events in human history that improved the condition of human societies. Childe described the origins of agriculture as a 哲eolithic Revolution.But the shift from hunting and gathering to food production was not as advantageous to humanity as Childe believed. Although there were benefits, there were also serious drawbacks, and humans paid a price for the advantages of agriculture.

The Neolithic, the period in history in which food production became widespread, began around 10,200 B.C, first appearing in Southwest Asia, and lasted until 4000 to 2200 B.C. The cultivation of vegetables and domestication was becoming
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(Haviland et al 2011: 241) Trade increased and many settlements became wealthy. These wealthy communities could support some people as artists and priests. Catal Hyuk is an example of astounding neolithic art, much of which adorns religion shrines. (Levack et al 2009:5)

Metalurgy first made an appearance in Europe during the Neolithic. (Levack et al 2009:16) Architecture improved and in many areas dwellings were made with sturdy supplies like stone and brick. Some villages, particularly in Southwest Asia, were surrounded by impressive stone walls for protection against enemies. (Leonard 1973:18)

Disadvantages of Food Production

Sanitation and Disease

People living in sedentary villages in the Neolithic experienced worsened health and mortality. Sedentary life brought with it sanitation problems like garbage and human waste accumulate, which contributed to disease. The close association between humans and animals was also key to the transmission of many infectious diseases. Higher mortality rates were offset by increased fertility. (Haviland et al 2011: 249) Dependence on the Environment

When humans turned to agriculture, they had to depend on the weather for crop production and a good harvest, which did not always turn out to their favour. Neolithic farmers faced drought,

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