The Agricultural Revolution
If you were to look back at ancient history and see some of the problems they encountered within their communities, and then jump forward into today, you would see that many of the same struggles they went through are much the same as today. Overpopulation, lack of natural resources, disease, and the struggle for power are some of the things that not even today we have been able to solve.
Overpopulation in hunter-gatherer tribes mainly never happened, because they had to carry their children with them, and along with the prolonged juvenile period that they had would make it much to difficult. It is important to understand that this new way of life (sedentism) meant a whole new set of opportunities, and a whole new set of problems as well. (Learning Module) Large families meant that they would have more help in the fields, so family size grew to make life easier.
Disease is also something we have failed to conquer today. Our civilization today has made many advances but has not yet cured everything. Disease is closely related to sedentary life. When population size grew it became very difficult to keep living areas clean. Families were sharing close quarters with animals that don’t know how to dispose of their own waste properly, thus spreading bacteria. Unlike our ancestors, we have made many advances in the medical field. Relatively harmless childhood illnesses we know today such as chicken pox, which could quite possibly have killed thousands. Although we have made medical advances we are still struggling to make better many of the deadly diseases that we have.
The struggle for power has been apparent throughout dating back even to the ancient city in Turkey, called Jericho 8,000 years ago. Along with the close knit communities came crime. Crime and power are closely related because the more that you had something, for our ancient ancestors it was surpluses of crops, for us today it would be money. Some people believed that they needed to steal other people’s earnings to make themselves better, or more valued in a civilization. This has not changed much throughout the years because even today people will cheat, and steal from even their loved one’s to advance socially in the world today.
The new life in towns and cities required a new mode of social organization- a division between those who direct and manage and those who are directed. As specializations emerged, inequalities of wealth and status emerged with them. In short hierarchies of wealth, status and power began to characterize in the new societies.
With the emergence of agriculture also came the ability to technologically advance. Without having to move around as much, always looking one day at a time, early People were able to develop specialization in many different areas. (Clayton Cockrum) Pottery emerged from the sedentary life because they no longer had to carry all of their belongings with them, like their ancestor the hunter and gatherers. This made it easier to store food without it spoiling so quickly.
In conclusion, our ancestors faced numerous problems, and came up with many solutions. The solutions were passed on generation through generation and most likely improved upon each generation. All of these things overpopulation, famine, and disease have been dealt with in a way that gives us the opportunity to be here today.
The Agricultural Revolution