The Neolithic Revolution
The Neolithic Revolution was a major point in the advancement of mankind. Up until roughly 10,000 BCE humans were largely nomadic, migrating from place to place, typically in small groups or bands of about 20 to 30 people, gathering food such as fruit and insects and hunting or fishing to live. (1) Towards the end of the Stone Age, man discovered how to cultivate crops and domesticate animals, leading to an Agricultural Revolution, perhaps the "most important development in human history." (2) This adaptation allowed for permanent settlements to be established. Remarkably, after this event, "no greater change in the way people lived took place until the Industrial Revolution of the late 1700s." (3)
Interestingly, this Neolithic Demographic Transition seems to have occurred at different times throughout the world. In China, domestication of the dog happened around 13,000 BCE. Between 8,00 and 6,000 BCE, "people in western Asia domesticated goats, sheep, and pigs, while people in Turkey and western Africa domesticated cattle, and people in South America domesticated llamas and alpacas." (3) From 10,000 to 6,000 BCE, yams were domesticated in southeast Asia, millet and rice in China, squash and gourds in South America and Mexico, and barley, chickpeas, peas, lentils, and wheat in the Middle East.
(1) Gascoigne, Bamber. 2001. Hunter-Gatherers to Farmers. Retrieved from http://www.historyworld.net/wrldhis/PlainTextHistories.asp?ParagraphID=ayj
(2) German, Senta. n.d. "The Neolithic Revolution." Khan Academy. Retrieved from https://www.khanacademy.org/humanities/prehistoric-art/neolithic-art/a/the-neolithic-revolution
(3) Moore. 2013. The Neolithic Revolution. Retrieved from https://howellworldhistory.wordpress.com/the-neolithic-revolution/