The Pros and Cons of the Neolithic Revolution

Topics: Neolithic, Neolithic Revolution, Vere Gordon Childe Pages: 4 (942 words) Published: December 2, 2013


In the 1930's, V. Gordon Childe proposed that the shift to food production was one of the two major events in human history that improved the condition of human societies. Childe described the origins of agriculture as a 哲eolithic Revolution.But the shift from hunting and gathering to food production was not as advantageous to humanity as Childe believed. Although there were benefits, there were also serious drawbacks, and humans paid a price for the advantages of agriculture.

The Neolithic, the period in history in which food production became widespread, began around 10,200 B.C, first appearing in Southwest Asia, and lasted until 4000 to 2200 B.C. The cultivation of vegetables and domestication was becoming common in Southwest Asia between 10,200 to 8,800 B.C (Levack et al 2009:6), 5,000 B.C in Mesoamerica (Haviland et al 2011: 501), and about 4,500 B.C in Europe. (Leonard 1973: 21)

Advantages of Food Production

An Efficent Way of Life

Food raising was a more efficient way of life than food collecting. Approximately 250 square miles of land in the near East were needed to feed a band of 25 foragers, six square miles could supply 150 inhabitants of an early village with adequate food supplies. (Leonard 1973: 7) People could choose the most valuable vegetable foods available togrow near their villages, and certain animals were domesticated and bred to human's advantage. Neolithic villages stored food and generally had surplus. (Leonard 1973: 8)

Increased Population

Farmers were able to secure surplus food to secure the needs of a larger population. Seniors and Children were no longer looked upon as a burden. In hunter-gatherer lifestyles, infants were were abandoned in times of hardship and famine and eldery people often could not survive the demands of nomadic living. In villages, seniors were respected and supported and children had roles as shepherds and field hands. (Leonard 1973: 25) Both of these...

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