In the first session, we looked at the domestication of plants and animals, as well as the transition from a hunter-gatherer lifestyle to an agricultural lifestyle, something which is sometimes called the ‘Neolithic Revolution‘. Farming is believed to have begun in what is known as the Fertile Crescent in the Levant region, which stretches from northern Egypt through Israel and Jordan to the shores of the Persian Gulf, and then occurred independently in other regions of the world at different times from 11,000 years ago. Recent evidence, however, is suggesting that the first stirrings of the revolution may have begun even earlier, perhaps as far back as 19,000 years ago.
To quote from the previous link: “Our work suggests that these hunter-gatherer communities were starting to congregate in large numbers in specific places, build architecture and show more-complex ritual and symbolic burial practices – signs of a greater attachment to a location and a changing pattern of social complexity that imply they were on the trajectory toward agriculture.”
In the short video clip below, Craig Benjamin explains how agriculture drove change and why humans took the risk of abandoning foraging.