ERIC Number: ED376097
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991
The Neolithic Revolution: The First Farmers and Shepherds. A Unit of Study for Grades 6-8.
This unit presents lessons on the New Stone Age or Neolithic period from 8,000 to 3,500 B.C. The unit attempts to develop the profound changes in human society brought about by the domestication of plants and animals. The development of agriculture and the resultant move from wandering hunter gatherers to settled villages has been called the great leap forward in the history of humankind. Lesson 1 places the Neolithic period in its geological time frame and explains the discoveries made by archaeologists, which are the only source of information for this period. Lesson 2 describes the shift from hunting and gathering to herding and farming. Lesson 3 discusses the archaeological sites of Beidha and Catal Huyuk as examples of permanent villages and houses. Lesson 4 covers developments in both decorative and religious arts. It is essential that students of world history understand that the Neolithic Revolution was the necessary foundation for the great civilizations that followed. It was the most important single innovation in the evolution of human society before the Industrial Revolution. Through agriculture humans now controlled and regulated their food supply rather than depending on the caprice of nature. What domestication did was create an assured food supply and large settled communities and ultimately cities. Archaeologists and anthropologists have shown that early farming involved much more labor and much more risk than did hunting and gathering. Therefore, a crisis must have forced the change. Many theories exist as to the nature of this crisis. The unit does not emphasize the question of why agriculture developed. Contains 13 references. (Author/DK)
Descriptors: Agriculture, Ancient History, Archaeology, Grade 6, Grade 7, Grade 8, History Instruction, Intermediate Grades, Junior High Schools, Middle Schools, Primary Sources, Social Studies
National Center for History in the Schools, 10880 Wilshire Blvd., Suite 761, Los Angeles, CA 90024-4108.
Publication Type: Guides - Classroom - Teacher
Education Level: N/A
Audience: Teachers; Practitioners
Sponsor: National Endowment for the Humanities (NFAH), Washington, DC.
Authoring Institution: National Center for History in the Schools, Los Angeles, CA.