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.