Neolithic Revolution Research Paper

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Thomas Jefferson, the third President of the United States once stated that “cultivators of the earth are the most valuable citizens” (Jefferson), which was fitting for his era, considering that 90% of the American population were farmers. The tradition of agricultural societies stretches back to the Neolithic Revolution, around 11,000 years ago (Diamond 64), where people started to domesticate plants and animals. During this period, humans started to transition from a hunter-gatherer society, where small groups would rely solely on hunting wild game and gathering wild plants, to a settled society. Hunter-gatherers migrated with the herds of game and the seasons. It was only until the Neolithic Revolution when people started to settle down…show more content…
These grains allowed the first civilizations, like Mesopotamia and China to rise. While many scholars like Jared Diamond agree that the Neolithic Revolution, especially the domestication of cereal crops, allowed humans to form sedentary societies, James C. Scott found that a series of factors, like fire, agriculture, and climatic stress made sedentism possible. Although the Neolithic Revolution changed the way humans received their calories, Scott believes that fire was the catalytic technology that allowed humans to have better access to more nutritious meals (Lanchester 54). Hunter-gatherers had a diverse diet that consisted of migratory prey and birds, fish, and flora. When one food source was scarce, they could rely on another that was present (Lanchester 56). While our ancestors had a diverse diet that provided more nutrition than the ones…show more content…
They relied on a single source of food and were more susceptible to disease due to their close proximity to domesticated animals. Although the animals provided transportation and abundant protein, they also carried diseases that also affected humans. Despite the caveats of depending on a single food source, grains allowed the growth of civilizations since they were storable, allowing for a surplus. The main grains that allowed for the growth of states were the ones domesticated in the Fertile Crescent, such as emmer wheat, einkorn wheat, barley, pulses lentil, pea, chickpea, and the fiber crop flax (Diamond 79). Diamond states that other grains found in other parts of the world, such as knotweed, maygrass, and little barley in North America were nutritious, but were incredibly small and hard to farm, which meant that these types were harder to fully depend on (88). Scott found that grains were easily taxable, compared to root crops, like sweet potatoes and taro. Root crops could be hidden from the tax collector by keeping them buried and other crops, like legumes have several harvests throughout the year, which makes it difficult to keep track of the full taxable amount. Grains follow a strict growth and harvest cycle, which makes taxing easier. Cereals domesticated in the Fertile
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