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Neolithic

Neolithic

The Neolithic or New Stone Age is the final period of the Stone Age. It is characterized by the use of various types of stone tools, which soon gave way to metal products. There were so many achievements in the Neolithic era that this period is often called the Neolithic revolution, thanks to which ancient man moved to a fundamentally new stage of his development.

Features of the Neolithic

The Neolithic era is characterized by a very blurred time frame, and different cultures entered this cultural and historical period at different times. This process began earlier than anyone else in the Middle East – around 9500 BC .

Changes in the Neolithic era affected, first of all, the economic activity of primitive man. From the more usual gathering and hunting, ancient people moved on to the development of agriculture and cattle breeding. The end of the Neolithic era occurred at the moment when stone gave way to metal, and primitive society first mastered the technique of making metal tools.

Unlike the Paleolithic era, when several species of people existed in the process of evolution, at the last stage of the Stone Age this process ended, and there was one, the most developed species – the Cro-Magnon.

Cro - Magnon
On the territory of Russia, the most ancient remains of domestic horses were found in parking lots in the Southern Urals. The domestication of these animals significantly accelerated the course of history. The appearance of horses in primitive society contributed to the development of relations between different peoples and tribes, greatly facilitated hunting and housekeeping.

Table of “Stone Age Epochs”

Paleolithic

Climate: In the lower Paleolithic – very warm, then – the onset of the ice Age

Tools of labor: Chopper, scraper, harpoon, knife, needle with ear

Progress: Making fire, clothing from skins, building houses

Main classes: Gathering, hunting

Mesolithic

Climate: Global warming, the end of the ice age, the gradual formation of natural zones

Tools of labor: Bow and arrows, arrowheads and spears, fishing hook

Progress: The beginning of animal domestication, hunting traps

Main classes: Hunting, gathering, fishing

Neolithic

Climate: Similar to modern

Tools of labor: Polished and drilled stone tools, hoe, axe

Progress: Baskets made of twigs, pottery, nets, boat

Main classes: Hunting, gathering, fishing, agriculture, cattle breeding, pottery, weaving

Neolithic farming

The Neolithic man stopped waiting for mercy from nature and began to actively develop a productive economy – cattle breeding and agriculture. Natural and climatic conditions contributed to this: chernozem lands began to form in the southern regions, more diverse animals appeared in forests and steppes.

With the growth of the population and the development of the economy, the number of tools also increased, although flint remained the main rock for their manufacture. Most often it was collected on the surface, in river valleys – this was the easiest way. A more effective, but at the same time labor–intensive method of extracting flint was its development in mines - this is how mining began to develop.

In the Neolithic era, tools were very diverse: all kinds of daggers, axes, scrapers, arrowheads and spears, axes, chisels. Such diversity has become possible thanks to the improvement of various stone processing techniques.

Tools of the Neolithic era

An important sign of the Neolithic is the appearance of weaving and ceramics.

Formation of fortified settlements

The transition to agriculture required primitive people to live in one place. Forced settlement has become a prerequisite for the construction of stronger, more reliable and spacious dwellings.

The choice of building material for houses is largely determined by the region of residence. So, in the southern regions, raw bricks dried in the sun were used for these purposes, and in the northern ones - stones. Wooden buildings were very popular in the forests, while in the steppe zone a wicker frame was made, which was then coated with clay.

Rich settlements could become easy prey for other tribes, and therefore they began to strengthen them in all possible ways. Soon, the first cities began to appear in their places, attracting people with the opportunity to exchange various goods.

Fortified settlements
One of the oldest cities is Jericho. To strengthen it, seven-meter walls and defensive towers were erected around the perimeter. Thanks to such a reliable fastening, the population of Jericho felt protected from any vicissitudes of fate.

Neolithic Culture and Art

The Neolithic revolution was reflected not only in the economic activity of ancient man, but also in his culture. The Neolithic religion was based on the worship of the forces of nature, in which people saw the manifestation of a higher power.

The cult of burial was also greatly developed, which was complicated by numerous rituals. The deceased were given certain poses, during burial, all personal belongings, household items, and necessary equipment were buried together with the body. Funerary monuments began to spread.

Neolithic fine art was represented by rock paintings. The main characters were hunters armed with axes, spears and bows, who together with dogs chased wild animals. Often in such images one could find fantastic creatures, which, apparently, were spirits who patronized hunters.

A distinctive feature of Neolithic art was the development of fine plastics. Ancient craftsmen created figurines of fish, animals, snakes, waterfowl.

What have we learned?

When studying the topic "Neolithic", we learned that this epoch is the final stage of the Stone Age. We found out what achievements were characteristic of this period, how the development of crafts, art and culture, the construction of fortifications took place.

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