Experimenting with Agriculture
Experimenting with Agriculture About 12,000 years ago some communities began to produce food instead of relying on collecting or hunting. This led to some huge changes. The start of farming was slow and happened in pieces. It happened in several different parts of the world, independently, at the same time. Thousands of small decisions added up to the huge changes. Nobody was really aware that they were "inventing agriculture." Compared to the changes before agriculture, it happened really fast! The Paleolithic era (old stone age) was around for 2 million years. But farming spread to most of the world (except Australia) within only 8,000 years. By 12,000 years (today) nearly all gathering societies are gone! World History Standard 2A - How and why humans established and settled communities and experimented with agriculture What is farming? Activities to increase production of things humans can use for food. Cattle Grain Flax And getting rid of things that aren't useful Weeds Pests Farmers dramatically change the environment. They water the land. They plow the land. They try to help certain animals and plants that they want. Agrarian societies (societies with agriculture) are a mix of Climate, tools, techniques, social habits, culture, landforms, plants, and animals. The biggest thing to start farming was "domestication." That is the ability to make plants and animals useful to humans. Humans began to develop a more sophisticated kit of stone tools. (New Stone Age) Human population grew! Whereas before, humans spread out, but communities didn't grow, there were just more small communities, With agriculture, communities got larger and larger. More people could live on less land. People didn't choose to take up farming. Their lives we probably less busy before farming. They may have been pushed into farming. When communities started to farm, they did it incrementally, or little by little. They didn't think they were getting rid of their way of life.