Paleolithic & Neolithic

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Paleolithic & Neolithic

We often hear of the "Stone Age" known to as one diverse period in ancient history. We see that the Stone Age is actually made up of two distinct sub-periods called Paleolithic (Old Stone Age) and Neolithic (New Stone Age). A good way to describe the Neolithic period is by first examining how it differed from the Paleolithic period. The Neolithic Era was a time marked by important changes in the way humankind lived. The earlier Paleolithic Era was characterized by an unreliable system of hunting and gathering. An agricultural revolution changed basically every aspect of the human experience, producing what we have come to recognize as the Neolithic Era.

After centuries of the practices of gathering food, man learned the nature of plants and was able to expand methods of refining and planning their own harvest. This agricultural revolution brought about many changes and improvements such as the way people lived together. Because amount food supply could now be planned, the first economy of wealth was created. More food could be produced than immediately consumed. This led to methods of organized saving and planning for the future. Food could be stored until the next harvest. As a result of this large quantity of food, the density of agricultural populations multiplied to hundreds of times that of populations of the Paleolithic Period. Food supply in the Neolithic Era can normally be described as reliable in contrast to that of the hunting and gathering societies. During the Paleolithic Era, man was at the mercy of nature, gathering where nature was. This simple pattern of life was not steady and led to much movement. The agricultural revolution provided the methods to a secure food supply.

Before agriculture, stone tools were created that served quite useful for gathering food. Here we see why the whole period is known as the "Stone Age" due to the common use of stone tools. Though this use of stone is present in both the...
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