Paleolithic Period, which lasts from the
beginnings of human life until about 10,000 BCE, people
nomads. They lived in groups of 20 -30,
and spent most of their time
hunting and gathering. In these groups,
work was divided between men and women, with the men
hunting game animals, and women gathering fruits,
berries, and other edibles. These early peoples
developed simple tools such as, spears and axes made
from bone, wood, and stone. Human beings lived in this
manner from earliest times until about 10,000 BCE,
when they started to cultivate crops and domesticate
animals. This is known as the Neolithic
The Neolithic Revolution was a fundamental change in the
way people lived. The shift from hunting & gathering
to agriculture led to permanent settlements,
and the establishment of a traditional economy. A traditional
economy is generally based on agriculture, with others in
society working in simple crafts, such as the manufacturing of
cloth or pottery.
About 10,000 BCE, humans began to cultivate crops and
domesticate certain animals. This was a change from the
system of hunting and gathering that had sustained
humans from earliest times. As a result, permanent
settlements were established. Neolithic villages
continued to divide work between men and women.
However, women's status declined as men took the lead in
in most areas of these early societies.
The economic factor of scarcity
influenced early village life in the areas of government and
social classes structure. Wars caused by scarcity were
frequent. During these wars, some men
gained stature as great warriors. This
usually transferred over to village life with these
warriors becoming the leaders in society. Early social
class divisions developed as a result. A person's
social class was usually determined by the work they
did, such as farmer, craftsman, priest,
and warrior. Depending on the society,
priests and warriors were usually at the top, with
farmers and craftsman at the bottom.
developed in response to the need for better tools and
weapons to go
along with the new way of living. Neolithic
farmers created a simple
calendar to keep track
of planting and harvesting. They also developed
simple metal tools such as plows,
to help with their work. Some groups even may have
used animals to pull these plows, again making work
easier. Metal weapons were developed as
villages needed to protect their valuable resources.
Neolithic Revolution changed the way humans lived.
The use of agriculture allowed humans to develop
permanent settlements, social classes, and new
technologies. Some of these early groups settled
in the fertile valleys of the Nile, Tigris-Euphrates,
Yellow, and Indus Rivers.
This resulted in the rise of the great civilizations in Egypt,
Mesopotamia, China, and India.