The Neolithic Revolution began in 10,000 B.
C. when humans no longer obtained their food by hunting and gathering. The Neolithic Revolution, also referred to as the “New Stone Age”, marked a significant turning point in history that changed the way Paleolithic people lived their lives, transitioning them from hunting and gathering, to agriculture and domestication. The revolution began when humans discovered agriculture which allowed them to settle down in permanent settlements instead of living as nomads. It produced a vast number of changes to human society and physiology, and the environment. The Neolithic Revolution led to social and economic stratification, as well as gender relations.
Furthermore, the Neolithic Revolution led to a possibility and risk of a famine. Nevertheless, the Neolithic Revolution had a negative impact on humanity. Social and economic stratification emerged due to agriculture. During the Paleolithic Era, inequality was primarily absent for the reason that hunting and gathering was the dominant model of food obtainment and food was shared between individuals. The invention of the plough in the Neolithic period however, enabled some individuals to produce more crops than others, leading to class stratification. As stated in “Tensions in the Neolithic”, “With the Agricultural Revolution inequality became, for the first time, an aspect of the human condition since not everyone could be equally successful in the quest for material possessions”. In the case of this argument, the term “material possessions” refer to crops.
With the adoption of agriculture, some people were more successful than others when it came to farming, causing economic stratification and an accumulation of wealth. As a result to an accumulation to wealth, social hierarchy was developed. The article, “The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race”, states, “Hunter-gatherers have little or no stored food, and no concentrated food sources, like an orchard or a herd of cows: they live off the wild plants and animals they obtain each day. Therefore, there can be no kings, no class of social parasites who grow fat on food seized from others. Only in a farming population could a healthy, non-producing elite set itself above the disease-ridden masses.” Evidence provided by the article, “Agriculture’s Mixed Blessings” further supports this statement by expressing that, “Skeletons from Greek tombs at Mycenae around 1500 B.C.
suggest that royal enjoyed a better diet than commoners, since the royal skeletons were two or three inches taller and had better teeth”. These statement indicate that the Neolithic Revolution caused social hierarchy and status.As agriculture became more widespread, gender relations evolved. According to the source, “The Plough and the Now”, “The plough was heavier than the tools formerly used by farmers. By demanding significantly more upper-body strength than hoes did, it gave men an advantage over women”. Men dominated agriculture whenever it involved the use of the plow and herding.
It is demonstrated that “In hunting-gathering bands children are usually spaced at three to four year intervals, whereas in agricultural societies women have frequent pregnancies and spend more time caring for small children” by the the article, “Tensions in the Neolithic”. Women had more frequent pregnancies due to “the pressure to produce more hands to till the field”. Before the Neolithic Revolution, men and women were equal in that they both shared work. After the transition from hunter-gatherers, women produced more children now that they have a permanent settlement and had to stay indoors to care for them. Thus leading up to the status of women declining since men dominated agriculture. On the contrary, it has been stated that the Neolithic Revolution provided a steady food supply. Now that they’ve found a permanent settlement, they no longer need to move around for food. As a result, they are allowed to cultivate land and produce large quantities of crops and use seed selection to make future plants more productive and easier to harvest.
Furthermore, according to “Join the Neolithic Revolution” cartoon, people learned how to domesticate animals and developed knowledge of which species are slow and submissive. However, despite the case that it provided a steady food supply, it led to a high possibility and risk of famine. Based on the article, “The Worst Mistake in the History of the Human Race”, “… because of dependence on a limited number of crops, farmers ran the risk of starvation if one crop failed”.
This illustrates how risky it is if one crop fail, causing the end of a food source. Farmers also gained cheap calories at the cost of poor nutrition. The crops that they grew were primarily high-carbohydrate plants, wheat, rice, and corn causing them to not gain enough nutrients that their bodies need to continue cultivating land and farm.
Overall, the Neolithic Revolution had a negative impact on humanity. Although some may claim that it had a positive impact due to the large and steady food supply that the revolution provided, the Neolithic Revolution led to social and economic stratification, gender relations, and led to a possibility and risk of a famine. Evidence supported by various sources further supports this claim by stating more reasons of why the Neolithic Revolution had a negative impact on humanity.