Week 7 Post

In our final week’s lectures, we learned about the neolithic period in human evolution. This period lasted from about 10000 BC to 2000 BC., which was a time of rapid cultural development with emergence of agriculture and ancient states. After going through this week’s lecture videos and other materials and learning so much more about how our past ancestors evolved in the more recent past, I do believe that the emergence of agriculture was one of the largest impacts that eventually led to the rise of state.

From the course materials, we can understand that agriculture was a resource includes domesticated animals, plants, and fungi. Through the use of agriculture, food sources are being created and kept where they are settled and can be controlled. This means the bands or societies of people are no longer looking, searching and following the food sources, but are bringing the food to where they already are settled and established. Agriculture created so many new opportunities for past humans to work and interact with other communities, and expand and grow themselves.

The continental and climatic changes allowed Homo sapiens (hunter-gatherer) to transition to permanent settlements and agricultural subsistence at different times across the regions of the world. Biological and environmental conditions for agriculture varied across regions. A few regions, such as the Near East (valleys, lowlands, warm climate), had animals and plants that were suitable for domestications, while other regions didn’t have any, affecting the timing of the Neolithic revolution in different places. Primary (animals, plants) and secondary (material culture: such as grindstones and stone “sickles”) archaeological evidence provide proof of agricultural practices and evolutionary changes in domesticated species in the Near East. A favorable climate and trade allowed agriculture practices (domesticated plants and animals) to diffuse to other distant regions across the Near East. As the climate changed and agriculture became more popular, it was easier for communities to become more permanent settlements and then become states.

As I said in the beginning, the emergence of agriculture led to the rise of states, what I mean is agriculture come first and then is states. Therefor the emergence of agriculture is actually the beginning of urbanization. The evidence we need to identify agriculture’s existence is most likely animal remains or tools, but in order to identify a state’s existence is more than that, you might need buildings or arts to prove there is shelter and people living in it, agriculture is part of the evidence, if there is a state than stable food source are necessary.


One thought on “Week 7 Post

  1. I think that this is a really good and intuitive post on how agriculture led to the rise of the state and the factors that contributed to allowing civilization to thrive. I also agreed that agriculture was a major component, if not the exact component that led to the thriving of homo sapiens and cultivating a civilized state. I like how you pointed out that one of the biggest players in the development of the state is the change in the climate and environment. This, I too, believe played one of the biggest roles in the development of agriculture. Due to the end of the last glacial period, food and resources became more abundant in certain areas across the world and it would only make sense that homo sapiens and other animals would move into these areas of prosperity to hunt and gather. Advancing from hunting and gathering, as homo sapiens and the other species of the genus homo did, the further development of tool technology and planning took action as it allowed a higher function in conservation and more optimal use of resources that resulted in more colonies settling in a specific area. Urbanization is also a very interesting point you made that stems from the emergence of agriculture that lead to the state and civilization. It only makes sense that urbanization would take place as communities grew and demand for food and resources increased with the population that would eventually lead to the urbanization of the growing community or state. I found that most of us agreed that agriculture was indeed the great contributor to the rise of the state. Looking at our current day civilization and how agriculture effects us tells the whole tale. Without agriculture there is no food or goods to keep our species alive. Without the state and law and order or specific duties to be carried out there is no agriculture; but with no agriculture there is still hunting and gathering with no order or congregation of tasks and skills. So it can really only be concluded that agriculture led to the rise of the state. I thought this was a great post, Thanks for the read!

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