Unit 1 prehistory to early civilizations
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Unit 1: Prehistory to Early Civilizations. Ms. Willia. Neolithic Revolution. Agriculture. Agriculture: farming and raising livestock Before the Neolithic period, most humans made their living by hunting and gathering humans were constantly on the move

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  • Agriculture: farming and raising livestock

  • Before the Neolithic period, most humans made their living by hunting and gathering

    • humans were constantly on the move

  • People in the Middle East discovered they could plant and harvest a wheat plant they found growing wild.

  • At about the same time…

    • people began to domesticate wild animals

    • raising them for food and as a source of power that could pull wagons and plows


  • People no longer had to follow the wandering animal herds

    • they could settle in one place

    • grow crops

    • build towns and cities

  • With permanent homes…

    • People could collect more possessions

    • Encouraged the invention of new technologies

  • Human population jumped from about two million people during the early Stone Age to about 60 million during the late Stone Age.


  • Farmers learned to grow more food than they needed for their own use, resulting in a surplus.

    • made it possible to accumulate wealth

    • leading to job specialization because not everyone had to raise food to make a living.

  • Some people could specialize in non-agricultural work

    • like making pottery

    • becoming priests or government officials

  • Agriculture became the main source of wealth in most societies until the industrial age.

Neolithic revolution1
Neolithic Revolution

  • During the Neolithic period and immediately after, humanity made a giant leap in culture

  • Toward the end of the last Ice Age, forests and grasslands began to appear in many areas

  • In a period of 5,000 years, people gradually moved from hunting & gathering to producing food

  • New agricultural methods came about

  • This led to massive changes in the way people lived!

Neolithic revolution2
Neolithic Revolution

  • This revolution took place slowly

  • Took place at different times in different parts of the world

  • The crops that Neolithic people developed varied from place to place

  • Farming made life easier for people

    • Brought a steady food supply

    • Allowed them to live in one place longer

Neolithic revolution3
Neolithic Revolution

  • Farming also allowed people to create villages and small societies

  • Crude houses were constructed with mud bricks

  • Several related families usually lived in one house

Neolithic revolution4
Neolithic Revolution

  • Neolithic farmers invented the plow and trained oxen to pull it.

  • Neolithic villagers invented the loom and began to weave linen and wool

  • They learned how to make jewelry and better weapons

  • People created calendars to measure the seasons & determine when to plant crops

Neolithic revolution5
Neolithic Revolution

  • People began caring about boundary lines and rules of inheritance because their food supply depended on land ownership.

  • As villages began competing for land and water, warfare was created.

  • Neolithic people believed in deities or gods and goddesses


  • Culture is a term for the knowledge and achievements passed on from one generation to another to form the way of life shared by a group of people.

  • Culture includes:

    • the knowledge a group of people have

    • the language they speak

    • the ways in which they eat and dress

    • their religious beliefs

    • their achievements in art and music.


  • What benefits did language offer to humanity?

    • Made it possible for people to work together (organize duties, give directions)

    • Enabled people to exchange ideas about the world

    • Provided a way for people to socialize and entertain each other (storytelling)

    • Most important of all, it allowed people to pass history and culture on from one generation to another


  • Agriculture and irrigation began in an area of the Middle East called the Fertile Crescent.

  • The world’s first known city developed at Jericho in Palestine around 8,000 BC.

    • Walls were built around Jericho to protect its agricultural surplus from nomadic raiders.


  • Agriculture and other technologies spread fastest in Eurasia for several reasons:

    • much of Eurasia lies in a temperate zone suitable for agriculture

    • Eurasia had more plants and animals that could be raised by humans

    • and it had more people