The Rise of the Agricultural Society

Pre-history was a time when small groups of nomadic people tried to find easier ways to live and advance in their society. Almost every tribe or group of people were nomadic because they could not keep a permanent settlement. This resulted upon the sign of the times when people depended on hunters and gatherers to get their food. Groups of people would have to move to new areas when food or water became scarce. As the animals migrated the people followed to maintain a sustainable food supply. Hunting and gathering was the only way early people could survive, but these two jobs were both difficult and dangerous.

Hunting took a vast amount of skill, patience, and intelligence. The men of the village were usually the hunters. They hunted in groups, sometimes bringing down large animals or entire herds of animals . They used many different tools to hunt, such as arrowheads, spears, and hand-axe. The method of hunting in groups was much safer than hunting alone and lowered the risk of injury.
(drawing of hunter and gatherer society)

Women in hunter-gatherer societies were responsible for gathering food like wild plants, seeds, fruits, and nuts to eat. Some important crops that they gathered included barley and wheat . They usually stayed close to the camps and took care of the children. Gathering was especially important when the hunters were not able to find a sustainable food supply and could not nourish the village with proteins.

[Fun Fact: People sometimes had to eat insects and bugs, like spiders for protein]

Causes for the Rise of Agriculture

Hunter and gather societies was a standard used all over Asia. These societies were especially thriving in the Middle East . There were plenty of forests, trees , plants , and livestock in the Middle East region to help maintain this way of life. Once people could produce a surplus of food there was an increase in population and more people could specialize in different areas of work (see specialization).

There were many causes to the rise of agriculture. Hunters and gatherers were frequently on the move, and would live in different shelters until they couldn't feed themselves anymore. They also needed an easier food supply. Once they found these new sources of food, they found a new way of life.
(world map during ice age)
As the ice age started, animal herds began to die off and the only thing people could do was migrate. Around 13,000 years ago the people only hunted what they could find, and the problem was that it was time
consuming and challenging. The hunters-gatherers would also follow the herds, which led to a population increase in the rest of the world. These causes lead to many long lasting effects and enduring impacts on the world.

People started growing their own food when drought struck. They stayed close to any source of water and planted new fields of wheat and barley using irrigation. This was the first time farming
June 7, 2010
was seen in the world. This created the first farmers in the world from the middle-east. Domestication was used by first farmers unconsciously China came after middle east with farming (rice). The Americasgrew corn,squash ,and beans . Africa grew soy , millet , and yams .

People were only able to live in
numbers by becoming more productive farmers, but people now had more stable food supply because of domestication, using animals to the fullest, and keeping them secure (new way of life).

The domesticated animals would eat any of the remaining crops, then the farmers would use their
droppings as fertilizer for the soil where they grew new crops.

(Plowing using domesticated animals)

Links Added by Mr. Holman Readings on the Domestication.

Reading and questions

Project Choices for rise of agriculture.

Podcast reading of reading assignment: you can follow along.

Guns, Germs, and Steel. Prod. Jared Diamond. DVD. National Geographic, 2005.

A short section of Jared Diamonds movie

Created by Danny, Andrew, and Elliott June 4, 2009
Revised by Ian December 17, 2010