ChAPTER 2 -- Part 3: The Rise of Civilization in the Middle
We can't be certain of the meanings that the paintings were trying to convey because writing wouldn't be created by any human 3300 BCE group for many millennia to come.
Some may have been done for the purpose of artistic expression.
Some of the depictions of animals in flight, depicted by human hunters, were painted to commemorate actual incidents in successful hunting expeditions.
The locations deep in cave complexes and the consistent choice of game animals suggest that they served a ritual purpose.
The images of animals in art were seen as a way of assisting future hunting parties in the wild.
It is possible that those who painted the animal figures wanted to improve their chances in the hunt and ward off animals that preyed on humans.
The first conscious historical accounts of the human experience were created by those who created these early works of art.
New tools or production techniques were not part of the Natufian strategy for survival.
Improvement of storage techniques and intensive gathering of wild grains were the main focus.
The culture was vul nerable because of the Natufians' concentration on grain, meat and nuts.
The climate of the region where the Natufian settlements were located grew more arid after 9000 b.c.e.
Grains and game that they depended on were not present in many places.
The Natufian sites were abandoned one thousand years later.
Until the late Paleolithic, advances in human technology and social organization were much slower than they have been since 8000 b.c.e.
Around 8 million people lived on the eve of agriculture.
The lives of these humans were short and violent.
They were afraid of animal and human enemies.
They were powerless in the face of injury or disease because they were at the mercy of the elements.
Their nomadic existence reflected their dependence on the feeding cycles of migrating animals, with a few crude tools and weap ons.
Smaller human groups that lived in permanent settlements had better shelters, a more secure food supply, and larger communities on which to draw in their relentless struggle for survival.
The earlier versions of the species had improved greatly.
There was no evidence that they would change their way of life in a few thousand years.
There wasn't anything natural about the development of agriculture.
The Bushmen of southwest Africa still follow them.
Between 8500 and 3500 b.c.e., the number of humans shifted to dependence on crops and animals for their sustenance.
By about 7000 b.c.e., their tools and skills had advanced enough to enable cultivating peoples to support towns with more than 1000 people.
The Middle East could support enough non-farmers to give rise to the first civilizations.
The character of most human lives and the history of the species were fundamentally changed as this pattern spread to other parts of the world.
The Big History approach calls attention to a long "agricultural period" of the human experience that ran from the Neolithic until about 300 years ago.
There are no written records of the transition period between 8500 and 3500 b.c.e., so we don't know why some people adopted these new ways of producing food and other necessities of life.
Many big game animals migrated to new pastures in the north.
They left a supply of game for human hunters in the Middle East, where agriculture first arose and many animals were first domesticated.
Changes in the distribution of wild grains and other crops on which hunters and gatherers depended were caused by Climatic shifts.
The shift to sedentary farming is likely due to an increase in human populations in certain areas.
Population growth may have been caused by changes in the climate.
It is1-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-65561-6556 People such as the Natu fians found that they could grow a lot of their own food.
As the population grew, more and more attention was given to the grain harvest, which eventually led to the conscious and systematic cultivation of plants.
The peoples who first cultivated cereals had seen them grow in the wild as they gathered other plants for their leaves and roots.
In the Middle East, wheat and wild barley were grown in the late Paleolithic times.
The practice of agriculture caught on slowly.
TheArcheological evi dence suggests that the first agriculturists retained their hunting-and-gathering activities as a hedge against the ever-present threat of starvation.
As Stone Age peoples became more proficient at culti vating a growing range of crops, such as olives and peas, the effort they spent on activities outside agriculture diminished.
The earliest farmers probably sowed wild seeds in order to cut down on labor.
Several animals may have been domesticated before the discovery of agriculture, and the two on the natural ecology are typical of processes combined to make up the critical transformation in human culture called the Neo rainforest cultivators.
Stone found that wolf pups could be trained to track and the origin and spread of agriculture was discovered as early as 12,000 b.c.e.
The strains of dogs that gradually developed were good at controlling the herd.
Asian dogs were useful in hunting and herding, which is why they were included in the later migrations to the Americas.
Once their leaders had been captured, defenseless herds of sheep could be domesticated.
The first domesticated animals in the Middle East were sheep, goats, and pigs.
The tamed horned cattle were better able to defend themselves than the wild sheep.