Since the dawn of time, Homo Sapiens have developed and evolved in a short time, relative to Earth’s history, into a advanced and special civilization we know today as present day society. The beginnings of civilization 2. 5 million years ago was known as the Paleolithic Age which ends at 12,000 BCE and leads directly into the Mesolithic Age which ends at 8,000 BCE. These two eras, Paleolithic Age and Neolithic Age, although share similar developments such as new technologies and dominion, they also differ in major new developments such as sedentary agriculture and pastoralization.
When the Paleolithic (Old Stone) Age is mentioned in daily conversation, the image of the movie series Ice Age first comes into mind. However, the Old Stone Age is more than just comical megatheriums and tsundere sabertooths. To combat deadly predators such as sabertooths, humankind found out that blunt objects such as stone, bone and wood were very effective against such dangers. Other than self defense, humans also used their cudgels and other blunt objects to bludgeon unsuspecting animals for a tasty meal.
However, the most important technology that they developed was fire. Striking a special type of stone called flint stones, which created sparks, combined with nearby underbrush, created a hot and deadly product. Fire warded off predators, lowered mortality rates, and cooked meat, benefiting all humans. This all around enchanting technology was the first step for humans to rise out of the Old Stone Age and enabled them to develop new and better ideas in the next era. The Neolithic (New Stone) Age began right after humans stopped eating animals with their weapons and started beating each other.
The development of agriculture and pastoralization created a surplus, which created jealousy or competition among each other, leading to fights and increased tension in their societies. Farming provided a need for better technology than just stone tools, so humans thought of another great idea, and made polished stone tools. This new invention called the stone axe was necessary for the new farmers to clear away forestry surrounding their fresh fertile farmlands.
With the felled trees, they used the wood to build wooden structures for their houses and canoes for transportation. For their houses, many humans in Mesopotamia and the Middle East, used mud bricks to construct villages and homes. They also used mud for making pottery to hold their crops and goods. Storage became a possibility; humans could now store food in sheds instead of icy underground tombs. Another similar trait both Neolithic and Paleolithic shared was dominion. Dominion was an important part in shaping the transition from Paleolithic towards Neolithic.
The Old Stone Age humans were bored and tired of following and hunting the migrating animals, so some of them thought of the idea to make the animals work for them, instead of the other way around. Humans began to domesticate animals, ranging from dogs to cattle, all in order to be lazy about their present lifestyle. In the New Stone Age, instead of animals, other humans dominated other humans. Agriculture developed, after a long chain of unfortunate events, lead to the creation of social order in human societies.
Now other humans are better than some, and those who are better rule over those who are not so great. The thirst for power we even see today is the legacy of our ancient ancestors not being chill with each other, and instead vying for their natural dominance. After the end of the Paleolithic Age, the Neolithic Age introduced two major components: sedentary agriculture and pastoralization. During hunter-gatherer times, humans knew that it was possible to grow seeds, and by doing it repetitively, humans were able to anage large scale planting.
They figured it was possible for multiple seeds to sprout into their mature plant form, as long as the seeds were tended to carefully. This lead to sedentary agriculture, which means that humans were settling down in small communities, and practicing farming. More and more of these communities sprouted up, leading to villages, and eventually civilizations. Humans grew oats, grains, wheat, rice, and corn from all over different parts of the world.
However, with the benefit of surplus yields from their crops, humans also began to experience the negative outcomes such as famine, disease, and deforestation. The other development is pastoralization, which is the domestication of animals such as cattle, goats, sheeps, and pigs. Prior, humans had already domesticated man’s best friend, the dog, but now humans have decided that they need a constant and stable source of food other than their crops, so they looked towards cattle. Cattle could produce milk for food, bones for tools, body for labor, and leather for clothes.
The benefits of the domestication of cattle even lead to nomadic herding, which is herding cattle from one food source to another, kind of like the cowboys of the range. Looking back at these times is important to know how each Age, though similar in some aspects such as developing new technologies and dominion, have very different features such as sedentary agriculture and pastoralization in the Neolithic Age. Even though the Paleolithic and Neolithic Age were only a small speck of time in the course of human history, both ages laid the foundation of our present.